Seismic Studies in Support of Earth Source Heating at Cornell University: Stratigraphy in the Vicinity of ESH Candidate Drill Sites from Multichannel Seismic Reflection Profiling in 2018

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Multichannel seismic reflection surveys using vibroseis sources and nodal seismic recorders were carried out on and near Cornell University’s Ithaca campus in support of the ongoing Earth Source Heat Project (ESH). These data were collected over a two-week period in September of 2018 with the help of student volunteers and subsequently processed to produce seismic reflection images of the subsurface near proposed geothermal drill sites. Although systematic noise from surface waves was found to be pervasive in the nodal recordings, basic stratigraphy in the immediate vicinity of the proposed well sites were delineated and identified with geological formations based on correlations with regional seismic surveys previously collected for gas exploration and available well data. Local structural disruptions in the dominant layer-cake stratigraphy at the target depths for geothermal drilling were found to be few and relatively minor in terms of offset geological units. These seismic images did not reveal any features that would preclude exploratory drilling for geothermal characterization at the drill sites under consideration.

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Cornell University and Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Cornell University

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Tomkins County, NY; Earth Source Heat; Seismic reflection; Geophysics


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technical report

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