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Texas A&M researchers map geothermal energy using sound

Posted at 2:09 PM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 15:37:22-04

COLLEGE STATION, TX — New Texas A&M research is aimed at using passive sounds in fractured rock to map channels for geothermal energy.

While seismic surveys can produce a picture of subsurface areas... they can also be difficult to decipher.

Now, Texas A&M researchers over at the Petroleum Engineering Department, hope that a different sound source and new algorithms, can both be used to detect more passive sounds. Creating a better picture of what's going on below the surface.

"Once we find patterns and structures that are very common, we can use them to understand what type of fractures are there and their properties" Siddharth Misra, petroleum engineering professor at Texas A&M shared with KRHD 25 News. "Once we do that, we can then easily flow fluids and heat energy to the subsurface, for both hydrocarbons and geothermal energy, we need that to understand the fractures created 10,000 feet below our feet."

The research team is using unsupervised machine learning to understand the many fractured noises.