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https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2020-139
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2020-139
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  17 Jul 2020

17 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Petrophysical and mechanical rock property database of the Los Humeros and Acoculco geothermal fields (Mexico)

Leandra M. Weydt1, Ángel Andrés Ramírez-Guzmán2, Antonio Pola2, Baptiste Lepillier3, Juliane Kummerow4, Guiseppe Mandrone5, Cesare Comina5, Paromita Deb6, Gianluca Norini7, Eduardo Gonzalez-Partida8, Denis Ramón Avellán9, José Luis Macías10, Kristian Bär1, and Ingo Sass1,11 Leandra M. Weydt et al.
  • 1Department of Geothermal Science and Technology, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Schnittspahnstraße 9, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
  • 2Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores – Unidad Morelia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro 8701, 58190 Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico
  • 3Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, Delft 2628CD, the Netherlands
  • 4Helmholtz Centre Potsdam –GFZ Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 6.2 – Geothermal Energy Systems, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 5Department of Earth Sciences, University of Torino, Via Valperga Caluso 35, 10125 Torino, Italy
  • 6Institute for Applied Geophysics and Geothermal Energy, EON Energy Research Center, RWTH Aachen, Mathieustraße 10, 52074 Aachen, Germany
  • 7Istituto di Geologia Ambientale e Geoingegneria, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Via Roberto Cozzi 53, 20125 Milano, Italy
  • 8Centro de Geociencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 76230 Juriquilla, Querétaro, Mexico
  • 9CONACYT – Instituto de Geofísica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro 8701, 58190 Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico
  • 10Instituto de Geofísica – Unidad Michoacán, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro 8701, 58190 Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico
  • 11Darmstadt Graduate School of Excellence Energy Science and Engineering, Jovanka-Bontschits Straße 2, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany

Abstract. Petrophysical and mechanical rock properties are key parameters for the characterization of the deep subsurface in different disciplines such as geothermal heat extraction, petroleum reservoir engineering or mining. They are commonly used for the interpretation of geophysical data and the parameterization of numerical models and thus are the basis for economic reservoir assessment. However, detailed information regarding petrophysical and mechanical rock properties for each relevant target horizon are often scarce, inconsistent or distributed over multiple publications. Therefore, subsurface models are often populated with generalized or assumed values resulting in high uncertainties. Furthermore, diagenetic, metamorphic and hydrothermal processes significantly affect the physiochemical and mechanical properties often leading to a high geological variability. A sound understanding of the controlling factors is needed to identify statistical and causal relationships between the properties as a basis for a profound reservoir assessment and modeling.

Within the scope of the GEMex project (EU-H2020, GA Nr. 727550), which aims to develop new transferable exploration and exploitation approaches for enhanced and super-hot unconventional geothermal systems, a new workflow was applied to overcome the gap of knowledge of the reservoir properties. Two caldera complexes located in the northeastern Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt – the Acoculco and Los Humeros caldera – were selected as demonstration sites.

The workflow starts with outcrop analogue and reservoir core sample studies in order to define and characterize the properties of all key units from the basement to the cap rock as well as their mineralogy and geochemistry. This allows the identification of geological heterogeneities on different scales (outcrop analysis, representative rock samples, thin sections and chemical analysis) enabling a profound reservoir property prediction.

More than 300 rock samples were taken from representative outcrops inside of the Los Humeros and Acoculco calderas, the surrounding areas and from exhumed fossil systems in Las Minas and Zacatlán. Additionally, 66 core samples from 16 wells of the Los Humeros geothermal field and 8 core samples from well EAC1 of the Acoculco geothermal field were collected. Samples were analyzed for particle and bulk density, porosity, permeability, thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, heat capacity, as well as ultra-sonic wave velocities, magnetic susceptibility and electric resistivity. Afterwards, destructive rock mechanical tests (point load tests, uniaxial and triaxial tests) were conducted to determine tensile strength, uniaxial compressive strength, Young’s modulus, Poisson’s ratio, bulk modulus, shear modulus, fracture toughness, cohesion and friction angle. In addition, XRD and XRF analyses were performed on 137 samples to provide information about the mineral assemblage, bulk geochemistry and the intensity of hydrothermal alteration.

An extensive rock property database was created (Weydt et al. 2020, http://dx.doi.org/10.25534/tudatalib-201.2), comprising 34 parameters determined on more than 2,160 plugs. More than 31,000 data entries were compiled covering volcanic, sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks from different ages (Jurassic to Holocene), thus facilitating a wide field of applications regarding resource assessment, modeling and statistical analyses.

Leandra M. Weydt et al.

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Short summary
Petrophysical and mechanical rock properties are essential for reservoir characterization of the deep subsurface and are commonly used for the population of numerical models or the interpretation of geophysical data. The database presented here aims at providing easily accessible information on rock properties and chemical analyses complemented by extensive metadata (location, stratigraphy, petrography) covering volcanic, sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks from Jurassic to Holocene age.
Petrophysical and mechanical rock properties are essential for reservoir characterization of the...
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