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Energies 2014, 7(5), 3503-3511; doi:10.3390/en7053503
Article

Determining the Maximum Depth of Hydrothermal Circulation Using Geothermal Mapping and Seismicity to Delineate the Depth to Brittle-Plastic Transition in Northern Honshu, Japan

1,* , 2
 and 2
Received: 1 May 2014; in revised form: 19 May 2014 / Accepted: 22 May 2014 / Published: 23 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geothermal Energy: Delivering on the Global Potential)
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Abstract: This paper defines the maximum possible vertical extent of hydrothermal circulation in granitic crust, and thus the maximum depth within which geothermal reservoirs can be encountered. To evaluate prospective geothermal fields we constructed a geothermal database in northern Honshu, Japan that includes 571 points of thermal data of existing wells and hot springs. Depth-temperature curves were normalized by the Activity Index for three-dimensional extrapolation and a depth contour map of the 380 °C isotherm was plotted as an assumed brittle-plastic transition for granitic crust. Shallower-depth anomalies of the brittle-plastic transition on this map are closely coincident with the Quaternary volcanoes and their prospective geothermal fields. It should be noted that the bottom of the spatial distribution of seismicity in the volcanic fields shows strong correlation to the 380 °C isotherm. This result indicates reliability of the subsurface three-dimensional thermal map and suggests that the 380 °C isotherm strongly constrains the bottom surface of seismicity, fracturing and hydrothermal convection in granitic crust.
Keywords: geothermal energy; geothermal exploration; geothermal mapping; brittle-ductile transition; brittle-plastic transition; seismicity; hydrothermal convection geothermal energy; geothermal exploration; geothermal mapping; brittle-ductile transition; brittle-plastic transition; seismicity; hydrothermal convection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Suzuki, Y.; Ioka, S.; Muraoka, H. Determining the Maximum Depth of Hydrothermal Circulation Using Geothermal Mapping and Seismicity to Delineate the Depth to Brittle-Plastic Transition in Northern Honshu, Japan. Energies 2014, 7, 3503-3511.

AMA Style

Suzuki Y, Ioka S, Muraoka H. Determining the Maximum Depth of Hydrothermal Circulation Using Geothermal Mapping and Seismicity to Delineate the Depth to Brittle-Plastic Transition in Northern Honshu, Japan. Energies. 2014; 7(5):3503-3511.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Suzuki, Yota; Ioka, Seiichiro; Muraoka, Hirofumi. 2014. "Determining the Maximum Depth of Hydrothermal Circulation Using Geothermal Mapping and Seismicity to Delineate the Depth to Brittle-Plastic Transition in Northern Honshu, Japan." Energies 7, no. 5: 3503-3511.


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