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Geologic Framework of the Fang Hot Springs Area with Emphasis on Structure, Hydrology, and Geothermal Development, Chiang Mai Provence, Northern Thailand
Geothermal Energy
  • Spencer H. Wood, Boise State University
  • Pichet Kaewsomwang, Chiang Mai University
  • Fongsaward Suvagondha Singharajwarapan, Chiang Mai University
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Geologic mapping, a magnetotelluric survey, well data, and earlier reports are integrated to guide further development of the Fang geothermal system. The Fang Hot Springs originally flowed ~ 20 l s−1 of 90–99 °C water from a 10-hectare area of crystal- line rocks presumed to be of Triassic age. Four wells 92–500 m deep now flow ~ 20 l s−1 of 110–115 °C water and generate 115–250 kWe from the 1989 Ormat binary power plant. Wells are not pumped nor is the spent water re-injected. Temperatures of 130 °C occur in some wells and water chemistry indicates reservoir temperatures of 150 °C. The springs now flow ~ 10 l s−1 . The Fang geothermal area is at the west end of the active left-lateral strike-slip Mae Chan fault (MCF). MCF transitions to extensional faulting along the western boundary of the Cenozoic Fang basin. The hot waters emanate from crystalline rocks 0.7 km north of the MCF. Permeable fractures may be tensile fractures at the right-stepping fault tip. The less permeable MCF fault core and Cenozoic sediments of the Fang basin to the SW are not considered to be drilling targets. Unrelated to the fracture system is the Doi Kia detachment fault which places Paleozoic sediments over crystalline rock with a low-angle contact. Electrical resistivity surveys detect low resistivity (< 60 Ωm) only within the upper 50–100 m of the hot springs area. Deeper crystalline rock is > 100 Ωm. Low resistivity is caused mostly by conductive minerals of hydrothermal alteration, and not by the geothermal water of resistivity 5.6 Ωm. No deep resistivity anomaly is detected beneath the seeps or producing wells, although resolution of past surveys would not have imaged narrow zones of alteration. High-resolution resistivity surveys focused on detecting the deeper fracture system are recommended over the hot well area and south over the area underlain by crystalline rocks. Future development should focus on drilling wells (≤ 500 m) with diameters large enough to install submersible pumps to increase flows. Development of several MWe may be possible and should include a designed re-injection well system to sustain pump levels.

Copyright Statement

This document was originally published in Geothermal Energy by Springer. This work is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Details regarding the use of this work can be found at: doi: 10.1186/s40517-017-0087-7

Citation Information
Spencer H. Wood, Pichet Kaewsomwang and Fongsaward Suvagondha Singharajwarapan. "Geologic Framework of the Fang Hot Springs Area with Emphasis on Structure, Hydrology, and Geothermal Development, Chiang Mai Provence, Northern Thailand" Geothermal Energy (2018)
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