Krafla magma testbed: Understanding and using the magma-hydrothermal connection

Eichelberger, J, Ingolfsson, HP, Carrigan, C, Lavallee, Y ORCID: 0000-0003-4766-5758, Tester, JW and Markusson, SH
(2018) Krafla magma testbed: Understanding and using the magma-hydrothermal connection. .

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The Krafla Magma Testbed (KMT), Krafla Caldera, Iceland, is proposed to be the first magma observatory, an international multi-borehole facility where teams will conduct scientific experiments and engineering tests focused on the magma-hydrothermal interface in a superhot geothermal systems (SHGS). Objectives are to: 1) Core and monitor from the roots of the hydrothermal system to the top of the magma body; 2) Provide ground-truth testing of surface-based techniques for locating magma; 3) Perturb the deep system to understand signals interpreted as volcano “unrest”; 4) Advance drilling and completion technology so that superhot and supercritical fluids can be produced from the magma roof zone; and 5) Advance sensor technology so that magma bodies can be monitored directly, vastly improving the eruption warnings important to 10% of Earth's population. KMT will provide a vanguard view of magma and hydrothermal circulation as the single system that it is. It will integrate the separate communities of practice of geothermal energy, which relies heavily on direct drilling observations; and volcanology, which relies on surface observations and theoretical models. The driving force is that geothermal drilling hit magma in Iceland, Kenya, and Hawaii, revealing how close to the surface magma exists and how closely connected magma is to the hydrothermal system. KMT is a 3 rd path in efforts to expand geothermal use. One path is to go deeper in cooler places, the Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) concept, relying on advances in drilling and reservoir stimulation for economic viability, e.g. Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) of the U.S. Department of Energy. Another, within SHGS, is to drill to conditions where fluids should be supercritical, e.g. IDDP-2 of Iceland Deep Drilling Program (IDDP) at Reykjanes. The 3 rd , also SHGS and pursued by KMT, is to access the vicinity of a magma body. This takes advantage of magma's high energy density due to latent heat of crystallization and delivered by convection to sustain high power output. Not only have SHGS wells proximal to magma at Krafla Caldera, Iceland, exhibited high flow rates equivalent to >100 MWt, but the expected efficiency of conversion to electricity is ~30% vs. ~10% for conventional geothermal. When combined with the new efficiencies of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) tranmission, the economic balance could shift from low-grade geothermal sources near the consumer to high-grade sources farther from the consumer.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Unspecified)
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2018 09:28
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2021 06:10