March 1, 2019
Conference Paper

EGS Collab Project Electrical Resistivity Tomography Characterization and Monitoring


The EGS (Enhanced Geothermal Systems) Collab project is performing stimulation experiments in highly monitored and well-characterized intermediate-scale (~10-20 m) field test beds. The characterization and monitoring system includes an array of electrodes grouted in place within six monitoring wells, with 16 electrodes per well. The electrodes enable characterization of the 3D low-frequency electrical properties of the host rock, and changes in those properties during stimulation and tracer testing using both static and time-lapse Electrical Resistivity Tomography. In this talk we present: 1) ERT array design and installation, 2) baseline (pre-stimulation) imaging results, 3) time-lapse data collected during stimulation operations, and 4) real-time imaging during clean water injections intended to illuminate flow paths as a decrease in bulk electrical conductivity. We will also discuss aspects and lessons learned for conducting ERT imaging operations in the presence of high fluid pressure gradients during stimulation and flow operations. Results to date reveal a highly heterogeneous rock fabric, ranging over four orders of magnitude in bulk electrical conductivity, and high polarization capacity. Baseline imaging results are consistent with borehole logs and core studies. Time-lapse imaging results to identify major flow paths during tracer studies are forthcoming and will be discussed during this presentation. Ultimately the ERT imaging data sets provide useful information for validating and verifying model predictions in preparation for research at DOE’s Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE).

Revised: September 18, 2019 | Published: March 1, 2019


Johnson T.C., C.E. Strickland, H. Knox, J. Thomle, V.R. Vermeul, C. Ulrich, and T.J. Kneafsey, et al. 2019. EGS Collab Project Electrical Resistivity Tomography Characterization and Monitoring. In Proceedings of the 44th Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford University, February 11-13, 2019, Stanford California, SGP-TR-214. Stanford, California:Stanford Geothermal Program. PNNL-SA-138913.