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Classification of geothermal systems and their formation key factors

ZHANG Ying;FENG Jianyun;HE Zhiliang;LI Pengwei;Petroleum Exploration and Production Research Institute,SINOPEC;  
In accordance with previous studies and for the betterment of geothermal resource exploration and development,ageothermal system is defined here as a relatively independent heat-source-centered geological unit which contains geological ingredients and effects needed for generating, migrating and gathering geothermal resources,i.e.,a system that constitutes a functional unit of geothermal aggregation.According to tectonic settings,geothermal systems can be divided into two types:the rifted mountain(type I)and sedimentary basin(type II)types,which then can be subdivided into the rifted mountain magma-origin,rifted mountain non-magma-origin,sedimentary basin magma-origin and sedimentary basin non-magma-origin types.Based on these divisions,the above four types of geothermal systems are further classified as hydrothermal and non-hydrothermal depending on the form of geothermal storage.In geothermal resource development,plentiful heat source is the foundation for all geothermal systems.For hydrothermal types,water supply and fracture development predominate the formation of a rifted mountain hydrothermal system,whereas ample high-quality geothermal reservoir at an appropriate burial depth controls the formation of a sedimentary basin hydrothermal system.In non-hydrothermal systems that favor the development of an EGS project,formation key factors are the natural permeable reservoir and advantageous cap rocks.
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