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The Geothermal Potential in Isla Campuzano, Nicaragua

Selméus, Louise LU and Stierna, Manuela (2017) In ISRN VTGL01 20171
Engineering Geology
Civil Engineering (M.Sc.Eng.)
Abstract
Nicaragua has a geothermal potential of 1519 MW (CNE 2001) due to its volcano chain created by the tectonic activity between the Cocos plate and the Caribbean plate. The Ministry of Energy and Mines in Nicaragua has the ambition to have 91% of Nicaraguas energy consumption from renewables energy for 2027 where geothermal energy will constitute 22%. In June 2016 an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 occurred in the region of Chinandega with an epicenter in Isla Campuzano. This volcanic activity led to an increase of the water level in the hot springs in the area which captured the attention of UNAN-Managua, IGG-CIGEO and led to this bachelor thesis.

The aim of this work was to determine if there is a geothermal potential in the area of Isla... (More)
Nicaragua has a geothermal potential of 1519 MW (CNE 2001) due to its volcano chain created by the tectonic activity between the Cocos plate and the Caribbean plate. The Ministry of Energy and Mines in Nicaragua has the ambition to have 91% of Nicaraguas energy consumption from renewables energy for 2027 where geothermal energy will constitute 22%. In June 2016 an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 occurred in the region of Chinandega with an epicenter in Isla Campuzano. This volcanic activity led to an increase of the water level in the hot springs in the area which captured the attention of UNAN-Managua, IGG-CIGEO and led to this bachelor thesis.

The aim of this work was to determine if there is a geothermal potential in the area of Isla Campuzano by performing a geochemical analysis in hot springs. Another objective was to asses the advantages and disadvantages of geothermal energy in Nicaragua.In order to estimate the geothermal potential field work, interviews, laboratory work, geological mapping and geochemical calculations were performed. To gain geological background information a geological mapping of the area was performed by using QGIS. The field study was conducted by first collecting 17 water samples at 6 different locations and measuring the pH, conductivity and temperature. Moreover, the concentrations of Na, Ca, K and SiO2 in the water samples were determined by an ICP-OES.

The results showed high concentration of sodium which could be an indication that the water also contains high concentration of Cl which is characteristic for geothermal water. As the water samples were collected in superficial water the concentration of Ca was high and SiO2 low. The sub geothermal temperature used to determine the geothermal potential was calculated with two Na-K-Ca geothermometers: Fournier & Truesdell (1973) and Fournier (1981). Five out of six sampling locations showed a sub temperature between 110-200 °C. According to Sveinbjörnsson (2016) this temperature range means a medium enthalpy geothermal source, which can generate electricity through a binary power plant.The uncertainties from the results were that only six sam- pling locations were studied and four geothermal chemical indicators were analyzed, and therefore only two geothermometers were suitable to use. The results from these geothermometers showed a difference of 20°C. Additionally the geology and the geophysics of the area were not studied in detail. This means that the results can only be used as an estimation and further investigations in all three geosciences has to be done in order to confirm the results.

From the interviews it was concluded that the main barriers of geothermal energy in Nicaragua is the difficulty of finding financial help for the projects and the overestimation of the potential due to technical errors. The main advantages are that it is a renewable energy source, with a high potential, a low variability meaning that no storage technology is needed.
In conclusion, there is a geothermal potential of medium enthalpy in the area except for sam- pling location 1. In other words, there is a potential of generating electricity with a binary power plant. These results should be used as an estimation as only the geochemistry has been analyzed and only two geothermometers have been accurate to use. An investment on this type of energy in the area of Isla Campuzano could both lead to an improved infrastructure and positive development of the socio-economic situation. (Less)
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author
Selméus, Louise LU and Stierna, Manuela
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Den geotermiska potentialen vid Isla Campuzano, Nicaragua
course
VTGL01 20171
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Geothermal Potential, Geochemistry, Geological Mapping, ICP-OES, QGIS, Hot Springs, Waters Samples, Na-K-Ca Geothermometer, Medium Enthalpy, Nicaragua.
publication/series
ISRN
report number
ISRN LUTVDG/(TVTG--5149)/1-56/(2017)
other publication id
ISRN
language
English
additional info
Examiner: Gerhard Barmen
id
8913435
date added to LUP
2017-06-12 15:06:14
date last changed
2017-06-12 15:06:14
@misc{8913435,
  abstract     = {Nicaragua has a geothermal potential of 1519 MW (CNE 2001) due to its volcano chain created by the tectonic activity between the Cocos plate and the Caribbean plate. The Ministry of Energy and Mines in Nicaragua has the ambition to have 91% of Nicaraguas energy consumption from renewables energy for 2027 where geothermal energy will constitute 22%. In June 2016 an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 occurred in the region of Chinandega with an epicenter in Isla Campuzano. This volcanic activity led to an increase of the water level in the hot springs in the area which captured the attention of UNAN-Managua, IGG-CIGEO and led to this bachelor thesis.

The aim of this work was to determine if there is a geothermal potential in the area of Isla Campuzano by performing a geochemical analysis in hot springs. Another objective was to asses the advantages and disadvantages of geothermal energy in Nicaragua.In order to estimate the geothermal potential field work, interviews, laboratory work, geological mapping and geochemical calculations were performed. To gain geological background information a geological mapping of the area was performed by using QGIS. The field study was conducted by first collecting 17 water samples at 6 different locations and measuring the pH, conductivity and temperature. Moreover, the concentrations of Na, Ca, K and SiO2 in the water samples were determined by an ICP-OES.

The results showed high concentration of sodium which could be an indication that the water also contains high concentration of Cl which is characteristic for geothermal water. As the water samples were collected in superficial water the concentration of Ca was high and SiO2 low. The sub geothermal temperature used to determine the geothermal potential was calculated with two Na-K-Ca geothermometers: Fournier & Truesdell (1973) and Fournier (1981). Five out of six sampling locations showed a sub temperature between 110-200 °C. According to Sveinbjörnsson (2016) this temperature range means a medium enthalpy geothermal source, which can generate electricity through a binary power plant.The uncertainties from the results were that only six sam- pling locations were studied and four geothermal chemical indicators were analyzed, and therefore only two geothermometers were suitable to use. The results from these geothermometers showed a difference of 20°C. Additionally the geology and the geophysics of the area were not studied in detail. This means that the results can only be used as an estimation and further investigations in all three geosciences has to be done in order to confirm the results.

From the interviews it was concluded that the main barriers of geothermal energy in Nicaragua is the difficulty of finding financial help for the projects and the overestimation of the potential due to technical errors. The main advantages are that it is a renewable energy source, with a high potential, a low variability meaning that no storage technology is needed.
In conclusion, there is a geothermal potential of medium enthalpy in the area except for sam- pling location 1. In other words, there is a potential of generating electricity with a binary power plant. These results should be used as an estimation as only the geochemistry has been analyzed and only two geothermometers have been accurate to use. An investment on this type of energy in the area of Isla Campuzano could both lead to an improved infrastructure and positive development of the socio-economic situation.},
  author       = {Selméus, Louise and Stierna, Manuela},
  keyword      = {Geothermal Potential,Geochemistry,Geological Mapping,ICP-OES,QGIS,Hot Springs,Waters Samples,Na-K-Ca Geothermometer,Medium Enthalpy,Nicaragua.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {ISRN},
  title        = {The Geothermal Potential in Isla Campuzano, Nicaragua},
  year         = {2017},
}