Monday, August 8, 2016

USA, Oregon: GRC Student Studying at Newberry Geothermal Energy

NEWGEN FORGE Laboratory – A Resource for Graduate Education and Research (Newberry Geothermal Energy)

by GRC Student Member, Esteban Bowles-Martinez, Ph.D. student working with Dr. Adam Schultz in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.

The internal structure of Newberry Volcano is revealed in slices through a preliminary 3D electrical resistivity model. Warm colors indicate where the earth is conductive, blue resistive. 
One of the skills I’ve gained as a graduate student studying geophysics at Oregon State University (OSU) is the ability to visualize miles of solid rock and model the internal structure of volcanoes. This is not easy to do when (aside from a limited number of deep wells) we’re only able to access the earth’s surface. To create an image of the subsurface, we take a variety of surface measurements at hundreds of locations and create a model of the subsurface that reproduces the signals we measured. We assess the performance of the model by comparing synthetic data calculated from the model with observed data. We can use data collected from deep boreholes to directly assess model predictions.

At the Newberry Volcano, we are very fortunate to have an enormous amount of data to constrain our models. There are over 40 years of extensive geophysical and geological surveys, information from four deep wells and numerous boreholes around the Newberry Geothermal Energy (NEWGEN) area. This extensive set of data allows us to create an accurate representation of the subsurface.

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A technical paper and poster "Constraining Subsurface Model Resolution at Newberry Volcano Using A Weighted Spatial Analysis", by Mark-Moser, MacKenzie & Cameron, Emily & Rose, Kelly & Romeo, Lucy & Schultz, Jeremy & Schultz, Adam, will be presented at the GRC Annual Meeting in Sacramento, California, October 23-26.