NPGS Monthly Dinner Meeting—Thursday, October 4

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society (NPGS)
Monthly Dinner Meeting
Thursday, October 4
Speaker: Jim Faulds
Topic: Geothermal Journeys through New Zealand and Nevada: Similarities and Differences in Geothermal Activity between Magmatic and Non-Magmatic Rifts

A message from NPGS: Please join us on Thursday, October 4, 2018 at the Tamarack Junction for cocktails, dinner and lecture by Jim Faulds on “Geothermal Journeys through New Zealand and Nevada: Similarities and Differences in Geothermal Activity between Magmatic and Non-Magmatic Rifts.”

Bio: Jim Faulds is the Nevada State Geologist, Director of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology (NBMG), and Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). NBMG is a research and public service unit of UNR and is the state geological survey of Nevada. Faulds is a structural geologist with 30+ years of experience. He has been with UNR and NBMG since 1997, first as Professor and then serving as NBMG Director since 2012. He earned his B.S. at the University of Montana, M.S. at the University of Arizona, and Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico. He has studied crustal deformation in many parts of the world, including much of the western U.S., western Turkey, and New Zealand. His research has focused on how fault systems initiate and evolve through time. In recent years, he has been analyzing the structural controls and exploration strategies of geothermal systems in the western U.S., Turkey, New Zealand, and elsewhere. He recently returned from sabbatical in New Zealand, where he worked with GNS Science and the University of Canterbury. At Canterbury, he held an Erskine Teaching Fellowship. He has published over 100 papers and dozens of geologic maps on extensional and strike-slip tectonics, as well as the structural controls on geothermal activity. He has also taught courses in structural geology, tectonics, geothermal exploration, and field geology, while serving as advisor for more than 25 graduate students.

Abstract: The Taupo Volcanic Zone (TVZ) in New Zealand and Great Basin region, USA, represent two premier geothermal provinces on Earth. Both reside in extensional to transtensional settings. The TVZ occupies a dynamic intra-arc rift setting with relatively high rates of extension and voluminous volcanism. The Great Basin region is part of the Basin and Range province and characterized by relatively modest rates of extension and sparse volcanism. Recent magmatism provides heat for many geothermal systems in the TVZ and generates temperatures locally in excess of 300ºC. In contrast, the Great Basin is characterized by non-magmatic geothermal systems with temperatures generally less than 225ºC.

In the Great Basin, nearly 90% of geothermal systems are controlled by four major structural settings: 1) normal fault step-overs or relay ramps; 2) terminations of major normal faults; 3) fault intersections; and 4) accommodation zones. Notably, ~39% of known geothermal systems are blind with no surface hot springs or fumaroles, with estimates suggesting that 75% of geothermal resources are blind. Many blind systems are hidden in basins and obscured by young sediments. Play fairway analysis, whereby multiple geologic and geophysical parameters are combined to identify highly prospective area, holds significant promise of identifying new geothermal systems and reducing the risks of geothermal exploration in this region. This methodology recently resulted in discovery of at least one new blind system.

In the TVZ, similar structural settings (normal fault step-overs, fault tips, and accommodation zones) have been documented for many geothermal fields. Such settings may generally be less impactful, however, in areas of recent magmatism. Structural settings are obscured for some robust systems (e.g. Rotokawa and Wai-O-Tapu) by young volcanic deposits. Active magmatism also produces a suite of additional favorable settings, including dike tips and intersections between normal faults and caldera margins. Blind systems may be relatively common in the TVZ, with impermeable clay caps and thick permeable volcanic deposits at depth precluding venting of some systems. Preliminary maps of favorable structural settings serve as a proxy for potential blind systems in the TVZ. Play fairway analysis, incorporating multiple geologic and geophysical parameters, may ultimately facilitate discovery of new geothermal systems in the TVZ.

Date: Thursday, Oct 4, 2018
Time: 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Cocktails at 6:30 pm, hosted by Geo Drilling Fluids
Dinner is served at 7:00 pm
Location: Tamarack Junction
13101 South Virginia Street
Reno, NV  89511

Cocktail Host: This month’s cocktail hour is sponsored by Don Boulet of Geo Drilling Fluids. Thank you Don and Geo Drilling Fluids for your continued support of NPGS!

Pricing – Registration (Sep 20, 2018 – Oct 3, 2018)
Registrant Type and Price
NPGS Member – Prepay, $25.00
NPGS Member – Pay at Door, $28.00
Non-Member – Prepay, $30.00
Non-Member – Pay at Door, $33.00
Student – $15.00

Register for Meeting:

Cancellation Policy: If you wish to cancel your registration, please contact Karen Loomis ( or Tom Gallagher ( so we may have an accurate headcount for food and accommodations. At this time, NPGS is unable to offer refunds for prepaid registration. However, we are happy to provide a credit for future meetings.

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