Searching for geothermal resources within the Umatilla Indian Reservation

2-d potential field model - hawtmi and wiahatya faults

A new technical paper describes how Geosoft’s Oasis montaj and GM-SYS software was used to model across the large Hawtmi and Wiahatya faults in northeastern Oregon, in search of potential geothermal resources on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Seeking resources that could be used to make the reservation energy independent, the Bureau of Indian Affairs offered a grant to investigate the potential for geothermal resources on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

The USGS partnered with AltaRock Energy and CTUIR to conduct data collection in the region, using multiple geophysical methods which included: gravity, aeromagnetic, magnetotellurics, LiDAR, and paleomagnetics. Hand samples were also collected and rock properties measured to constrain the potential field models.

The geology of this region is dominated by the Columbia River Basalts and extensive faulting and folding. Active faulting is the primary method by which hydrothermal fluids reach the surface. Using the post processed gravity and magnetic data, 2D models were created from two profiles lines placed across major faults in the region.

Read the technical paper authored by U.S. Geological Survey Interns, Benjamin Grober and Zachary Palmer, to learn more about the techniques used to create the 2D potential field models.

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