Fluid Geochemistry of Badlands Elementaita Geothermal Prospect, Naivasha-Nakuru Basin

 

 

 

 

Geochemistry is the study of the chemical composition of the earth. The basic philosophy behind using geochemical methods for geothermal exploration is that fluids on the surface reflect the physical, chemical and thermal conditions in the geothermal reservoir. The most important contribution of Geochemistry to Geothermal Resource Assessment is chemical geothermometry. The latter is the application of geochemistry to infer reservoir temperatures from the compositions of geothermal fluids that are found at the surface of the earth. The objectives of this research project were to: characterize the geothermal fluids that were present and their suitability for electricity production and other non-electrical uses, determine the existence of a geothermal resource, estimate the reservoir temperatures, and assess the suitability of the area for further exploration by deep drilling. Samples were collected from fumaroles at badlands, Elementeita and analyzed for gases that are associated with major geothermal activity (carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide gases). The data obtained was used to infer reservoir temperatures, which were found to range from 234-353 oC. Soil gas distribution for carbon dioxide and radon was suggested a high geothermal potential with enhanced permeability. Potential feasible uses of the Badlands prospect included electricity generation, horticulture, aquaculture and thermal resorts. It was recommended that further geochemical work be done to establish additional geothermal potential in that area.

 

Key words: Geochemistry, geothermal exploration

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