A joint geophysical analysis of the Coso Geothermal Field, south-eastern California

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Wamalwa AM, Mickus KL, Serpa LF, Doser DI. A joint geophysical analysis of the coso geothermal field, south-eastern california. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 2013 January 2013;214:25-34.


Three-dimensional density models derived from gravity data and two-dimensional resistivity models derived from magnetotelluric data collected in the vicinity of the Coso geothermal field are analyzed in order to determine the source region of the geothermal field. The derived models show zones of both low resistivity and low density at and below 6 km depth in the Devils Kitchen and the Coso Hot Springs areas. These zones agree with seismic reflection and tomography results which found a high amplitude reflector at 5 km and low velocities zones below 5 km. We interpret the density and resistivity zones to indicate the presence of cooling magmatic material that provides the heat for the shallower geothermal system in these regions. A zone marked by high resistivity and low density was found to lie directly above the interpreted partially melted region extending to within 1 km depth below the surface in the reservoir region where it is capped by a low resistivity clay zone. In addition, the density models indicate that the high density bodies occurring under volcanic outcrops may be mafic intrusions.