A Hydrologic Monitoring Program to Detect Potential Impacts of Geothermal Development in Long Valley Caldera, California


M.L. Sorey

Geo Location:

Long Valley Caldera, California


Stanford Geothermal Workshop







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Long Valley caldera is a tectonically active area i n east-central California t h a t contains a high-temperature geothermal system currently being explored and developed for electric power production. Concerns expressed by public agencies and private citizens over the potential impacts of geothermal development on thermal springs a t the Hot Creek F i s h Hatchery and Hot Creek gorge have resulted in the establishment of a Hydrologic Advisory Committee. The committee includes representatives from development projects and regulatory agencies. I t s role i s to formulate and oversee a hydro1 ogi c monitoring program capable of detecting such impacts before they become significant. The advisory committee and the monitoring program provide effective mechanisms w i t h which to proceed w i t h geothermal development i n areas such as Long Valley, where the level of environmental risk cannot be determined a-priori because the relavent geo-hydrologic parameters are not adequately del i neated.

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