Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

W.D. Gosnold Jr.


A gravity and ground-based magnetic survey was conducted at the Rye Patch Known Geothermal Resource Area located at Rye Patch, Nevada. The purpose of the study was to attempt to further delineate the geothermal reservoir and/or to identify potential drilling targets. The survey consisted of collecting data at 264 new stations to augment data from 203 stations collected in 2008. Information from previous seismic, aeromagnetic and geochemical investigations was also examined and incorporated. Filtering methods including removal of a polynomial trend surface and wavelength filtering were utilized on the gravity data to remove the strong regional overprint caused by the large density contrast between the low density alluvium within the valley versus the near-surface higher density rock in the higher elevations. After filtering, the Rye Patch Fault, the Range Front Fault, an eastwest trending feature at the location of “southeast” fault, and another possible fault at the southern end of the study area are observable in the Rye Patch geothermal anomaly area. In the Humboldt House anomaly area, the northeast trending features identified by MacNight et al. (2005) and Ellis (2011) are not discernable although there is a significant gravity low in this area. Based on estimates arrived at by using 2 derivative methods, fault dip angles are on the order of 80 and are nd oconsistent with previous conceptual models of the site. Computer modelingindicates that the fault blocks may also be rotated back to the east. Due to errors in collecting diurnal information, the ground-based magnetic information was of limited use. Anomalies identified with the magnetic data do however correlate with the locations of anomalies identified using gravity and aeromagnetic surveys. Results indicate that gravity methods can be an effective method of defining approximate fault locations, lengths, and approximate trends and dip angles.

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