Advertisement

Geophysical responses and possible geothermal mechanism in the Gonghe Basin, China

  • 28 Accesses

Abstract

In Qinghai Province of China, the Gonghe Basin is characterized as a potential hot dry rock (HDR) area due to the high heat flow rate and high-temperature records from several springs and drillings. However, the regional geothermal mechanism is still disputable and then essential to be discussed for the HDR exploration strategy, even for analysis in other areas. Geophysical methods are useful tools of analysing regional tectonic activities and geological structures, which are related to heat generation and conduction. In this paper, we mainly focus on the geophysical data within different scales. Firstly, we mapped the epicentral distribution along a profile covering Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and the north part of India. This result shows that the Gonghe Basin was in a relatively stable area where less earthquake happened in deep zones (> 40 km). The geothermic mode should be thereby different from another geothermal field Yangbajain, which has a high frequency of earthquake events in deep zones (> 40 km). Secondly, we focus on the area of the Gonghe Basin and its surrounding area. By using the gravity and magnetic data, we estimated the Moho depth and Curie point depth through the Park-Oldenburg algorithm. The results indicate that the Gonghe Basin was at the gravity gradient zone without noticeable depth gap of Moho interface. The regional aeromagnetic data along with the Curie point depth was in a different trend. The high-value magnetic zone covers the major part of the Triassic igneous rock area. In this case, the heat from the deep zone (> 30 km) might not be the major contributor to the HDR forming here. Referred MT, seismic inversion results, we integrated all geophysical results. Based on this, a conceptual model in the Gonghe basin was then put forward. The low resistivity zones such as the magma capsules or melted granites in the upper-crust might be the significant heat resource for the HDR, although those from lower crust, mantle and the igneous rocks might make some contributions. The heat was conducted through the near-ground fractures and make the Gonghe Basin as a potential geothermal area, also validated by other geochemical evidence.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 99

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7

References

  1. Abraham E, Itumoh O, Chukwu C, Rock O (2019) Geothermal energy reconnaissance of southeastern Nigeria from analysis of aeromagnetic and gravity data. Pure Appl Geophys 176(4):1615–1638

  2. Alkhasov A, Alkhasova D, Ramazanov AS (2020) Technologies of geothermal resources development in south of Russia. Geomech Geophys Geo-Energy and Geo-Resour 6(1):1–7

  3. Bai D, Unsworth MJ, Meju MA, Ma X, Teng J, Kong X, Sun Y, Sun J, Wang L, Jiang C (2010) Crustal deformation of the eastern Tibetan plateau revealed by magnetotelluric imaging. Nat Geosci 3(5):358

  4. Barla G (2017) Comprehensive study including testing, monitoring and thermo-hydro modelling for design and implementation of a geothermal system in Torino (Italy). Geomech Geophys Geo-Energy and Geo-Resour 3(2):175–188

  5. Benz H, Buland R, Filson J, Frankel A, Shedlock K (2001) The advanced national seismic system. Seismol Res Lett 72(1):70–75

  6. Beyhan G, Keskinsezer A (2016) Investigation of the gravity data from Fethiye-Burdur fault zone using the Euler deconvolution technique. Geomech Geophys Geo-Energy and Geo-Resour 2(3):195–201

  7. Clark MK, Royden LH (2000) Topographic ooze: building the eastern margin of Tibet by lower crustal flow. Geology 28(8):703–706

  8. Dunlop DJ, Özdemir Ö (2001) Beyond Néel’s theories: thermal demagnetization of narrow-band partial thermoremanent magnetizations. Phys Earth Planet Int 126(1–2):43–57

  9. Feng Y, Zhang X, Zhang B, Liu J, Wang Y, Jia D, Hao L, Kong Z (2018) The geothermal formation mechanism in the Gonghe Basin: discussion and analysis from the geological background. China Geol 1(3):331–345

  10. Gao R, Xiong X, Li Q, Lu Z (2009) The Moho depth of Qinghai-Tibet plateau revealed by seismic detection. Acta Geosci Sin 30(6):761–773

  11. Gao J, Zhang H, Zhang S, Chen X, Cheng Z, Jia X, Li S, Fu L, Gao L, Xin H (2018) Three-dimensional magnetotelluric imaging of the geothermal system beneath the Gonghe Basin, Northeast Tibetan Plateau. Geothermics 76:15–25

  12. Garland GD (1951) Combined analysis of gravity and magnetic anomalies. Geophysics 16(1):51–62

  13. Gómez-Ortiz D, Agarwal BN (2005) 3DINVER. M: a MATLAB program to invert the gravity anomaly over a 3D horizontal density interface by Parker–Oldenburg’s algorithm. Computers Geosci 31(4):513–520

  14. Hou Z, Xu T, Jiang Z, Feng B (2018) Geochemical and isotopic characteristics of geothermal water in the Gonghe Basin of the northeast Tibetan Plateau, China. In: 43rd workshop on geothermal reservoir engineering, Stanford

  15. Hu S, He L, Wang J (2000) Heat flow in the continental area of China: a new data set. Earth Planet Sci Lett 179(2):407–419

  16. Jin S, Zhang L, Wei W, Ye G, Liu G, Deng M, Je J (2010) Magnetotelluric method for deep detection of Chinese continent. Acta Geol Sin 84(6):808–817

  17. Krawczyk CM, Stiller M, Bauer K, Norden B, Henninges J, Ivanova A, Huenges E (2019) 3-D seismic exploration across the deep geothermal research platform Groß Schönebeck north of Berlin/Germany. Geotherm Energy 7(1):1

  18. Lang (2016) The thermal structure and geothermal genesis mechanism in Guide Basin. PhD Thesis, Chinese academy of geological science, Beijing, China

  19. Lenhard R, Malcho M (2013) Numerical simulation device for the transport of geothermal heat with forced circulation of media. Math Comput Model 57(1–2):111–125

  20. Liang S, Gan W, Shen C, Xiao G, Liu J, Chen W, Ding X, Zhou D (2013) Three-dimensional velocity field of present-day crustal motion of the Tibetan Plateau derived from GPS measurements. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 118(10):5722–5732

  21. Mei J, Youxue W, Hui Q (2009) The broadband seismic exploration as well as the crust upper mantle structure in the orogenic plateau, Qin- ghai-Tibet plateau and its adjacent area. Geological Publishing House, Beijing

  22. Meibom A, Anderson DL, Sleep NH, Frei R, Chamberlain CP, Hren MT, Wooden JL (2003) Are high 3He/4He ratios in oceanic basalts an indicator of deep-mantle plume components? Earth Planet Sci Lett 208(3–4):197–204

  23. Oldenburg DW (1974) The inversion and interpretation of gravity anomalies. Geophysics 39(4):526–536

  24. Ozdemir A, Yasar E, Cevik G (2017) An importance of the geological investigations in Kavaklıdere geothermal field (Turkey). Geomech Geophys Geo-Energy and Geo-Resour 3(1):29–49

  25. Saada SA (2016) Edge detection and depth estimation of Galala El Bahariya Plateau, Eastern Desert-Egypt, from aeromagnetic data. Geomech Geophys Geo-Energy and Geo-Resour 2(1):25–41

  26. Shen L, Yuan D, Ding T, Li Y, Le G, Lin Y (2007) Distributing inhomogeneity of helium isotope of CO2 degasification point and its geotectogenesis in southwest of China. Acta Geol Sin 81:475–487

  27. Singh HK, Sinha SK, Chandrasekharam D (2020) A preliminary investigation for the assessment of geothermal potential at eastern Peninsular India. Geomech Geophys Geo-Energy and Geo-Resour 6(1):9

  28. Tan H, Zhang W, Chen J, Jiang S, Kong N (2012) Isotope and geochemical study for geothermal assessment of the Xining basin of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Geothermics 42:47–55

  29. Teke O, Yaşar E (2018) Geothermal energy and integrated resource management in Turkey. Geomech Geophys Geo-Energy and Geo-Resour 4(1):1–10

  30. Vergne J, Wittlinger G, Hui Q, Tapponnier P, Poupinet G, Mei J, Herquel G, Paul A (2002) Seismic evidence for stepwise thickening of the crust across the NE Tibetan plateau. Earth Planet Sci Lett 203(1):25–33

  31. Wang Y (2000) Estimations of the ratio of crust/mantle heat flow using helium isotope ratio of underground fluid. Chin J Geophys 43(6):762–770

  32. Wang C, Guang H (2004) Crustal structure in Tengchong volcano-geothermal area, western Yunnan, China. Tectonophysics 380(1–2):69–87

  33. Wang G, Zhang W, Ma F, Lin W, Liang J, Zhu X (2018) Overview on hydrothermal and hot dry rock researches in China. China Geol 1(2):273–285

  34. White M, Fu P, McClure M, Danko G, Elsworth D, Sonnenthal E, Kelkar S, Podgorney R (2018) A suite of benchmark and challenge problems for enhanced geothermal systems. Geomech Geophys Geo-Energy and Geo-Resour 4(1):79–117

  35. Xiong X, Gao R, Li Q, Lu Z (2009) Moho depth of Qinghai-Tibet plateau revealed by seismic probing. J Earth Sci 20(2):448

  36. Xu J, Zhao Z, Ishikawa Y (2005) Extensional stress field in the central and southern Qinghai-Tibetan plateau and the dynamic mechanism of geothermic anomaly in Yangbajain. Chin J Geophys 48(4):929–938

  37. Xu T, Yuan Y, Jia X, Lei Y, Li S, Feng B, Hou Z, Jiang Z (2018) Prospects of power generation from an enhanced geothermal system by water circulation through two horizontal wells: a case study in the Gonghe Basin, Qinghai Province, China. Energy 148:196–207

  38. Xue G, Hui Q, Yingjun J, Heping S, Yingjun D (2003) Studies on the velocity structure of crust-upper mantle beneath Northeast Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. Acta Geosic Sin 1:3

  39. Zhang X, Zhao L (2003) Curie surface and aeromagnetic anomaly in Qinghai-Tibet plateau. J Geod Geodyn 23(4):14–20

  40. Zhang H, Chen Y, Xu W, Liu R, Yuan H, Liu X (2006) Granitoids around Gonghe basin in Qinghai province: petrogenesis and tectonic implications. Acta Petrol Sin 22(12):2910–2922

  41. Zhang X, Jia S, Zhao J, Zhang C, Yang J, Wang F, Zhang J, Liu B, Sun G, PanN S (2008) Crustal structures beneath west Qinling-east Kunlun Orogen and its adjacent area-result of wide-angle seismic reflection and refraction experiment. Chin J Geophys 51(2):307–318

  42. Zhang C, Jiang G, Shi Y, Wang Z, Wang Y, Li S, Jia X, Hu S (2018) Terrestrial heat flow and crustal thermal structure of the Gonghe-Guide area, northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. Geothermics 72:182–192

  43. Zhao X, Zeng Z, Wang K, Huai N (2016) Study on the geothermal model of Gonghe-Guide region, Qinghai, China. In: 7th international conference on environment and engineering geophysics and summit forum of Chinese academy of engineering on engineering science and technology, Atlantis Press

  44. Zhao X, Zeng Z, Zhang Q, Chen X (2019) The implication of the geophysical data and drilling records for the formation and paleoenvironment of the Hobq Desert, China. Quat Int 519:42–49

  45. Zhu D, Zhao Z, Niu Y, Dilek Y, Hou Z, Mo X (2013) The origin and pre-Cenozoic evolution of the Tibetan Plateau. Gondwana Res 23(4):1429–1454

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the editor P.G. Ranjith and reviewers for helpful suggestions, comments, and reviews and thoughtful comments. Financial support for this research was provided by Project [2016] 0707 of Centre for hydrogeology and environmental geology survey (China Geological Survey), Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFC0600505 and 2016YFC060110402), Project of Hot Dry Rock prospecting in east of Guangxi Province (3S31805344) and the Nature Science Foundation of China (41574097 and 41504083).

Author information

Correspondence to Zhaofa Zeng.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Zhao, X., Zeng, Z., Huai, N. et al. Geophysical responses and possible geothermal mechanism in the Gonghe Basin, China. Geomech. Geophys. Geo-energ. Geo-resour. 6, 17 (2020) doi:10.1007/s40948-020-00141-5

Download citation

Keywords

  • Geophysical responses
  • Geothermic anomaly
  • Gonghe Basin
  • Conceptual model