Map of Coso Geothermal Power Plant Near Ridgecrest, California
Map of Earthquakes near Ridgecrest, California
Coso Volcanic Field Map
Does everyone remember the earthquakes near the Hawaii geothermal power plant on the Big Island last year and then the volcanic eruption that followed? This cluster of Ridgecrest earthquakes look very similar to what occurred in Hawaii near a geothermal power plant which were induced by injection wells (aka "fracking"). This area of Ridgecrest is a volcanic area where geothermal injection wells also exist. See detailed images of what a geothermal field and injection well map below. Read this article evidence grows that Hawaii volcanic eruption caused by Puna Geothermal Power Plant.
The Coso volcanic field, located in the northern part of the Mojave Desert, is one of the most dangerous volcanic areas in California. The swarm of earthquakes sit between 2 acient vocanic fields. The Coso Volcanic Fields and the Lava Mountain Fields. According toe USGS it is estimated that the Coso volcano erupted 40,000 years ago.
Why isn't the news media asking hard questions of regulators, USGS or Department of Energy officials? Its a known fact that geothermal power plants induce earthquakes study finds. The Coso power plant right near the majority of these earthquakes and this area is a volcanic area. How do geothermal power plants induce earthquakes? Here is another map of the Hawaii Earthquakes induced by the geothermal power plant.
The "injection well" concept (aka fracking) is to extract heat by creating a subsurface fracture system to which water can be added through injection wells. Creating an enhanced, or engineered, geothermal system requires improving the natural permeability of rock. Rocks are permeable due to minute fractures and pore spaces between mineral grains. Injected water is heated by contact with the rock and returns to the surface through production wells, as in naturally occurring hydrothermal systems. The US Department of Energy calls this "Enhanced Geothermal System". EGS are reservoirs created to improve the economics of resources without adequate water and/or permeability.
The injection well drilling technique is also using in oil and gas and this is commonly known as "fracking". See DrillingMaps.com and do a search on the map for fracking where a number of minor earthquakes have been caused by this phenomenon.
The Coso Operating Company geothermal facility, nine geothermal plants on U.S. Navy-owned land abutting China Lake, produces about 145 net megawatts (MW) of power to Southern California Edison. To put that in perspective, a single megawatt has enough electricity to provide power to roughly 1,000 homes. The pipes enter each power station, weaving into steam turbines. The turbines are coupled to generators, and turn at about 3,600 rpm, producing 13,800 volts of electricity. Geothermal reservoir source has been consistent at 600˚F (almost 3 times boiling point). The plants were constructed from 1987 to 1989, and currently use about 105 production wells to capture underground steam that steam turbines then transform into electricity. The first of the facility’s four power plants eventually went online in May of 1987. Each power plant now produces almost equal amounts of power.
Earthquake swarms are common in the Coso area, often producing hundreds of tremors over periods of time as short as a few days. This kind of brisk and robust seismic activity is common in volcanic areas, such as Long Valley Caldera located near Mammoth Lakes, and Yellowstone Caldera at Yellowstone.
|Cos Energy Geothermal Wells|
Cos Energy Geothermal Wells