MSc Thesis: Steady State Numerical Modelling of Los Humeros Geothermal Field

Scherezade Diaz Martos successfully defends her master’s thesis


REYKJAVIK, May 24 - At the beginning of this month, Scherezade Diaz Martos, MSc in Sustainable Energy successfully defended her master’s thesis project, in which she conducted a steady state numerical modelling of the Los Humeros geothermal field. Scherezade was supervised by Juliet Newson from Reykjavik University.  Michael John O´Sullivan from the University of Auckland was present as an examiner.

Scherezade started her presentation by introducing the Los Humeros geothermal field itself. The field is located inside a Pleistocene caldera collapse, in Puebla, 180 km east from Mexico City. The Los Humeros high temperature field contains the 3rd largest geothermal power plant in Mexico with 95.7 MW total installed capacity, 58 drilled wells and 27 wells in production. The reservoir occupies an area of approximately 4000 km2.

Scherezade explained the stratigraphy, geophysics and geochemistry of the field. The stratigraphy of the reservoir is outlined by the clay cap, high permeability and low permeability reservoirs, followed by the basement layer. On the other hand, the geochemistry of the area is quite diverse and yet, there are no surface manifestations currently observed. With the various geo-scientific data sets she obtained, Scherezade created a 3D model of the reservoir with the Leapfrog software, where it shows that La Antigua, a NW-SE fault is the main source of heat and flow in the system. Based on this conceptual model, she built a static numerical model that was ran through AUTOUGH2. The results show that La Antigua fault could be the only and main heat and flow source in the field. Additionally, the model indicates the importance of the low permeability reservoir and the clay cap above field. Scherezade’s final calibrated model has a fluid recharge of 110 kg/s with a specific enthalpy of 1670 kJ/kg.

In the future, Scherezade hopes to continuously improve calibration and provide better model location of low resistivity and low permeability reservoir. For now, Scherezade is set to return to Spain and Mexico, where she will be working as reservoir geothermal geologist.

Congratulations, Scherezade on an excellent thesis! 


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