Earth Model
As part of the Phase 2 activities, the Utah FORGE team developed a comprehensive earth model of the Milford Site and surrounding area using Leapfrog Geothermal. The interactive viewer and links below provide an overview of the earth model and access to the individual datasets (version February 15th, 2020). The earth model will be updated as existing data are analyzed and new data are acquired.
Click here to see model in fullpage view.
Earth modeling data are in SI units and in UTM, Zone 12N, NAD83, NAVD88 referenced coordinates.
FORGE Site data are available on the Geothermal Data Repository. For questions contact us at utahforge@utah.edu.
Numerical Modeling
A numerical implementation of the conceptual and earth models was developed of the FORGE reservoir and surrounding area to estimate the spatial distribution of native state pressure, temperature, and stress conditions. The primary goal of this effort was threefold.
 Incorporate detailed 3D parameter distributions and complex boundary conditions identified from characterizing the site.
 Better understand the spatial distribution of stress at the site and how it may influence reservoir stimulation.
 Establish a reference (or baseline) set of parameter and property distributions that can be used among the team (and modeling community at large) to ensure consistency and comparability of simulation results.
The data and results included here are from the reference models completed in November 2019, at the approximate end of Phase 2 of FORGE. A complete report on the Phase 2 Modeling and Simulation can be found here.
Model Location and Dimensions
The Phase 3 numerical model domain sized to enclose a volume of the reservoir intersected by Wells 5632, 5832, 16A, 78B32, and 7832 and a significant subsurface volume below the FORGE site footprint. The model domain of 4.0 km x 4.0 km x 4.2 km is located approximately between depths of 4000 to 4200 meters below land surface. A nonuniform mesh spacing of average 40 m was used, with a total of 0.24 million tetrahedron elements. Finite element mesh of the model can be downloaded here. The image to the left shows the model geometries, the upper sedimentary layer (red), the lower granitoid layer mesh. This image also presents the global coordinate system where Zaxis is along vertical direction and Xaxis is along the minimum horizontal direction. 

The Phase 2 numerical model domain sized to enclose a volume of the reservoir intersected by Well 5832 and a significant subsurface volume below the FORGE site footprint. The model domain of 2.5 km x 2.5 km x 2.75 km is located approximately between depths of 400 to 3200 meters below land surface and aligned with the principle stress direction. A uniform mesh spacing of 50 m was used, with a total of 137,500 grid cells. Meshes were formulated in both UTM and a local coordinate systems, and can be downloaded here. The image to the left shows the boundaries of model domain (gray box), the Utah FORGE site outline projected into the subsurface (red), and the top of the granitoid surface colored by temperature. 

The lithology at the site was divided into two broadly defined units, consisting of crystalline granitic basement rock (granitoid) and the overlying sedimentary basin fill. Vertices of points defining the contact surface can be downloaded here. The contact surface interpolated onto the numerical model mesh can be downloaded here. The image to the left shows the land surface (gray), the Utah FORGE site outline projected into the subsurface (red), and the top of the granitoid surface (green). 
Boundary and Initial Conditions
Boundary conditions for pressure, temperature, and stress were based on results obtained and compiled during Phase 2, which relied on both new data collection and information obtained from the literature. Due to the complex nature of the distributions of pressure, temperature, and stress, all boundary conditions in the native state model have varying degrees of spatial variability, which were implemented using Dirichlet conditions. Boundary conditions can be downloaded here. 

Initial pore pressure and temperature conditions used for the native state model were based on estimates in the earth model and assigned to the numerical model cells in a similar fashion used to assign the boundary conditions. Values for pore pressure were estimated based on the top boundary condition and interpolated downward as a function of depth. Temperate was directly interpolated from the earth model to the numerical model cells. Initial pore pressure and temperature conditions can be downloaded here. The image to the left shows the temperature applied to top of the model domain in degrees Celsius, in the local coordinate system implementation of the native state model. The location of Well 5832 is shown for reference. 

Initial stress conditions used for the native state model are based on calculations of the displacement of the rock matrix, and as such, are difficult to assign a priori. A value of zero displacement is assigned as an initial condition, letting the model iterate a few extra times to come to a converged solution. Initial stress conditions can be downloaded here. The image to the left shows the total pressure applied to top of the model domain in megapascals, in the local coordinate system implementation of the native state model. The location of Well 5832 is shown for reference. 

A representative population of natural fractures are included in the reference Discrete Fracture Network Model (DFN), which incorporates measured surface and well data to create planer fractures that communicate as a single hydrological and mechanical system. The reference DFN consists of a deterministic set of fractures intersecting Well 5832 where fracture locations and orientations are known, plus a stochastic set of fractures away from well control. The image to the left shows the orientations of the fractures in the reference DFN in an upper hemisphere stereonet (plotting fracture poles). The table below provides a summary of the three fracture sets identified. 
Fracture Set Parameters
EW Vertical  NS Inclined Dipping West  NE Steeply Dipping SE  
Set Intensity  P_{32}  0.78  1.41  0.31 
[%]  31  56  12  
Mean Set Orientation  Strike [deg]  96  185  215 
Dip [deg]  80 S  48 W  64 SE 
Native State Modeling
Reservoir Properties
Initial reservoir properties used in the native state model are taken directly from characterization data. In many cases, a range of possible values are available, and the mean or median is used, with the values being adjusted within the measured range during model calibration. In all cases, uniform reservoir properties are used within the alluvium. For the granitoid, heterogeneous property distributions are applied where appropriate and data are available. Tables below summarize the property values used. These are the “reference” values for the current state of FORGE.
Modeled Granitoid Parameters
Parameter  Units  Min  Max  Source/Comment  Link to data 
Compressibility  1/kPA  2.52E12  8.51E08  Upscaled DFN  
Kii  m2  1.75E21  1.20E16  Core and reservoir testing, upscaled DFN  1160 
Kjj  m2  2.44E21  1.28E16  Core and reservoir testing, upscaled DFN  1160 
Kkk  m2  2.93E21  1.10E16  Core and reservoir testing, upscaled DFN  1160 
Porosity  —  1.00E07  0.0118  Core and cuttings analysis, upscaled DFN  1052 
Rock grain density  kg/m3  2750.00  Core and cuttings analysis, native state calibration  1052  
Specific heat capacity  J/kg K  790.00  Literature  
Grain thermal conductivity  W/m K  3.05  Core and cuttings analysis, native state calibration  5832 thermal conductivity data  
Young’s Modulus  Pa  5.50E+10  6.20E+10  Core analysis  1162 
Drained Poisson’s Ratio  —  0.26  0.3  Core analysis  1162 
Undrained Poisson’s Ratio  —  0.35  0.4  Assume B=0.8  
Biot coef  —  0.5  0.7  Literature  
Thermal expansion coef  —  2.00E06  Literature  
Fracture asperity (Lognormal)  m  µ=1e4, s=1e8  Literature  
Cohesion (Lognormal)  MPa  µ=3, s=0.5ˑ10^6  Literature  
Frictional angle (Lognormal)  MPa  µ=0.6, s=0.001  Literature  
Mode 1 fracture toughness  —  2.48MP√M  Core analysis  1140 
Modeled Basin Fill Parameters
Parameter  Units  Value  Source/Comment  Link to data 
K  m2  1.70E14  Aquifer test  1140 
Porosity  —  0.12  Core cuttings analysis, native state calibration  1052 
Rock grain density  kg/m3  2500.00  Core cuttings analysis, native state calibration  1052 
Specific heat capacity  J/kg K  830.00  Literature  
Grain thermal conductivity  W/m K  2.00  Core cuttings analysis, native state calibration  5832_thermal conductivity data 
Young’s Modulus  Pa  3.00E10  Literature  
Drained Poisson’s Ratio  —  0.30  Literature  
Biot coef  —  0.60  Literature  
Thermal expansion coef  —  2.00E06  Literature 
Native State Model Results
The modeled pressure, temperature, and stress along the trajectory of Well 5832 match the field measured data reasonably well. The pressure distribution is largely linear along the length of Well 5832 within the model domain and shows little to no differentiation between the overlying sedimentary basin fill and the granitoidhosted reservoir. The modeled temperature distribution also matches the field measured data and shows a break in slope at the sediment fillgranitoid contact. The image to the left shows subsampled results for the pore pressure, temperature, and stress obtained in the native state model (red X). Also shown are values from logging and testing Well 5832 (lines). Note that the pore pressure and temperature were logged over the entire length of Well 5832, while the stress is estimated from injection tests in the toe. 

The vertical stress was calibrated by adjusting the sediment density and porosity, as well as the density of the granitoid within the range of measured values until the modeled vertical stress match the field measurements at the toe of Well 5832. Native State modeling results can be downloaded here. The image to the left shows the estimated total vertical stress within the granitoid. 