East Mesa Geothermal Test Site

by Wayne A. Fernelius, (M.ASCE), Chf.; Engrg. Branch, Div. of Planning, Bureau of Reclamation, Boulder City, Nev.,
Martin K. Fulcher, Regional Planning Officer; Bureau of Reclamation, Boulder City, Nev.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 1, Pg. 13-32

Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: Geothermal fluid with its inherent heat energy has the potential of providing high quality water for augmentation of the Colorado River system. Desalting tests have been conducted utilizing geothermal fluids at East Mesa on vertical tube evaporator and multistage flash distillation processes and a high temperature electrodialysis membrane process. Effective scale control has been developed by the use of a threshold treatment chemical. Considerable geophysical and geologic data have been collected and five deep geothermal wells have been drilled ranging in depths from 6,000 ft to 8,030 ft (1,829 m to 2,447 m). A microearthquake network and level network have been installed to monitor movement in the earth's surface structure. Injection has been successfully achieved to dispose of waste fluids, however, surface pumping is required. A national test site has been established at East Mesa in cooperation with the Department of Energy and a number of private and institutional experimenters have utilized the site facilities for research activities.

Subject Headings: Thermal power | Water quality | Chemical treatment | Evaporation | River systems | Temperature effects | Water level | Hydro power | Colorado River

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