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Geothermal development and the Salton Sea

Goldsmith, Martin (1976) Geothermal development and the Salton Sea. Environmental Quality Laboratory Memorandum, 17. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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One of the limiting factors on energy development in the arid American West is the availability of water. Even geothermal development must take into account the hydrologic cycle of the surrounding area. In the Imperial Valley, the bloodstream of the economic body is water, and owing to the nature of the region and its water source, the mineralized Colorado River, the disposal of waste water is of major importance. The Salton Sea is presently the sump for agricultural drainage in that area. Quite incidentally, the Sea has become popular for recreational use. It is universally recognized that geothermal development in the Valley will involve the flow to the surface of large quantities of highly mineralized water. After extraction of heat, the water must be safely disposed of. Moreover. many geothermal power generation methods would require cooling water supplies. and other methods may require water for reservoir injection. The point is that geothermal development may well impact the hydrologic cycle. Conversely the requirements of the local hydrologic cycle may well impact the nature of geothermal development. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship of the Salton Sea. a key element of the Imperial Valley water system. to potential geothermal development. The author would like to acknowledge the contributions of his late colleague, Alexander Martin Rodriguez, to this work. He had formulated a method of computing the behavior of the Salton Sea under a variety of future conditions, using a pocket-sized programmable computer. His work was left unfinished at his death, and was completed by Ms. Betsy Krieg.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
Additional Information:© 1976 Environmental Quality Laboratory. California Institute of Technology. Sponsored by NSF Grant No. AER75-08793.
Group:Environmental Quality Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFAER 75-08793
Series Name:Environmental Quality Laboratory Memorandum
Issue or Number:17
Record Number:CaltechEQL:EQL-M-17
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Usage Policy:You are granted permission for individual, educational, research and non-commercial reproduction, distribution, display and performance of this work in any format.
ID Code:25766
Deposited By: Imported from CaltechEQL
Deposited On:14 Dec 2009
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:08

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