Ambient Seismic Imaging Technology for Low-Cost and Effective Geothermal Resource Exploration, Development and Management: ARPA-E Supporting Entrepreneurial Energy Discoveries (SEED) Small Business Innovative Research Grant
Enegis will use Ambient Seismic Imaging (ASI) to image permeability pathways and fluid flow in rock to advance geothermal development. Proper geothermal resource development must ensure project feasibility and integrity, improve targeting of permeability structures, and control induced seismicity. ASI overcomes the need for a controlled signal source (e.g., vibroseis) by using seismic emission tomography methods and passively listens to vibrations due to stress changes by fluid-rock interactions during the creation of permeability pathways. The team will adapt ASI to map the permeability architecture of the Newberry geothermal field in Oregon, focusing on measurement methods, network designs, and deployment campaigns to provide more robust characterization, thereby lowering risk and cost. ASI contrasts with status quo reflection seismology’s use of induced earthquakes, which are suboptimal for imaging permeability structure and fluid flow.