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Play Fairway Analysis

Geothermal Play Fairway Analysis of the northern Appalachian Basin

An interdisciplinary team from Cornell University, Southern Methodist University, and West Virginia University are conducting an analysis of the low-temperature geothermal resources available for direct-use-heat applications in the Appalachian Basin, specifically in New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The goal of the project is to reduce financial risk in low-temperature geothermal exploration for this region. This project is supported by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Southern Methodist University’s team is led by Maria Richards, and includes Professors Matt Hornbach, David Blackwell, and Beatrice Magnani, with assistance from Zach Frone, Cathy Chickering Pace and graduate student Mert Bolat.

The SMU Team is focused on evaluating two of the four risk factors utilized in Play Fairway Analysis, Thermal Resource and Natural Reservoirs.  Thermal Resource evaluation is accomplished through accessing existing temperature data, primarily from the National Geothermal Data System, and compiling and evaluating additional temperature data, primarily from the New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia Geological Surveys.  Natural Reservoirs evaluation is accomplished using well logs (neutron porosity, gamma ray, and density), and publications to determine fluid flow parameters.  As part of this project we will create isopach maps for each formation which will become a layer in the Play Fairway Analysis. 

We will be incorporating pressure and temperature data in our evaluation and are always looking for additional data.  Email geothermal@smu.edu if you have data to share. 

A complete project overview from Cornell University is available here.  

An article about the project from the Cornell Daily Sun is available here.  A radio interview about the project from Ithaca public radio is available here.