Geothermal – Subduction Zone Volcanic Arc Geology

Another potential location for accessing Geothermal Energy is Subduction Zones associated with Volcanic Arc Geology. Hydrothermal and/or petrothermal reservoirs are possible to be exploited for significant enthalpy with production and injection wells.

  • Volatile fluid release from subducted  crust includes  carbon  components  from organic matter, carbonates, water  and hydrous materials.  These  fluids  rise up and some end up in deep  hydrothermal reservoirs;
  • Magmatism is melted slab rock  containing many elements which  similarly rise up bringing significant  heat closer to the surface  including  into petrothermal reservoirs (fractured  hot dry rock);
  • Surface heat flux is a function of Moho  temperature, magma temperature,  crustal thickness, and magma ponding levels with heat conduction through  the crust and heat advection by rising  melts;
  • These hydrothermal and petrothermal reservoirs are able to be exploited with production and injection wells to capture the heat for Geothermal energy from surface Binary ORC power generation equipment.
Adapted from Ref. “Volatiles in subduction zone magmatism”
Georg F. Zellmer, Marie Edmonds and Susanne M. Straub
Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 410, 1-17, 13 November 2014,

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