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Overview

The modern open-source software paradigm has brought on the rise of countless tools available to researchers - coupling the increase in software availability with new technologies like the VR, any scientists, including you reading this, can access these tools and directly engage with data in a 3D environment.

Where do you target your next production well to maximize geothermal reservoir performance at the FORGE site in Milford, Utah? This is a challenging question given not only the complex 3D subsurface but the multiple data attributes available and their respective uncertainties. Multidimensional visualization aids researchers in their ability to gain insight from the spatial relationships of their data as well as helps communicate how spatial decisions are made to a broader, non-technical audience. The following visualization portfolio showcases how 3D visualization can be used to make decisions and address the posed question in a reproducible fashion.

Location: The FORGE site is located in an area of groundwater discharge and contains a dry fluvial system that may seasonally fill and flow. To minimize the environmental impact of the new well pad, our team proposes a location within the site boundaries that is several meters away from any branch of the seasonal river system, according to the topography map. The X and Y Coordinates (UTM) of our proposed well are thus (334618, 4262018). At this location, the granitoid layer will be reached at a greater depth, providing a slightly easier drilling process. The subsurface location of the well resembles that of well 58-32.

Depth: The constraints on depth included penetrating the granitoid layer and being within 175º and 225º Celsius. Below the FORGE site, this required a depth of at least 2000m. Our team searched for a region beneath the FORGE site near this depth that would maximize the likelihood of producing from the target temperature zone. Using the provided temperature probe data, our team created a geostatistical model of subsurface temperature and compared isocontours of that model with the provided temperature contours to ensure the proposed well location had a consistent temperature range across the data sets. Our team chose a depth of 2200m to surpass the 175ºC temperature threshold confidently.

Trajectory: Based on well trajectory data of Milford Valley, it appears that all wells but 58-32 were drilled at a 90º dip, 0º azimuth. Even well 58-32 shows an almost identical trajectory with very slight variation. Therefore, our new well will have as close to a 90º dip, 0º azimuth trajectory as possible.

In summary, our recommendation for the new production well is shown in Table 1 of the attached supplemental materials.

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