The Los Humeros Superhot Geothermal Resource in Mexico: Results from an Extensive Resistivity Survey

9 Oct 2019, 09:00
KIT - AudiMax (Karlsruhe)

KIT - AudiMax


Karlsruhe Institute of Technology South Campus Forum-Hörsaal AudiMax, Blg. 30.95 Strasse am Forum 1 76131 Karlsruhe Germany


Ásdís Benediktsdóttir


GEMex, a joint geothermal project of a European and Mexican consortium, began in late 2016 with the purpose to develop geothermal energy in the easternmost region of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Los Humeros superhot geothermal area, commissioned to the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), was chosen as a test site for a superhot geothermal system. Extensive geological, geochemical, and geophysical studies were carried out to gain a better knowledge of the subsurface physical conditions.

The resistivity survey was planned using results from previous work that had been carried out in the area, i.e., an existing resistivity model and geological maps. The resistivity campaign consisted of 122 co-located magnetotelluric (MT) and transient electromagnetic (TEM) measurements made in 2017 and 2018 through a joint effort by the European and Mexican partners. Geoelectrical strike analysis of the MT data was carried out and the result are in agreement with the main geological features of the area, adding to the tectonic information at depth in Los Humeros.

The co-located TEM and MT soundings were jointly inverted in one-dimension, where the TEM data were used to correct the MT data for static shift. Along with the results from the one-dimension inversion we present preliminary results of a 3D inversion performed on the full impedance tensor of the MT data corrected for static shifts, using different initial models. Two inversion codes were applied for comparison, the WSINV3DMT code was run in Europe and the ModEM code in Mexico.

The resistivity model has been compared with the main geological structures in the area revealing the location of a geothermal significance. Interpretation with other geoscientific results, such as gravity, passive and active seismics and geology, is ongoing within the GEMex project.

This abstract presents results of the GEMex Project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 727550, and by the Mexican Energy Sustainability Fund CONACYT-SENER, Project 2015-04-268074. More information can be found on the GEMex Website:

Primary authors

Ásdís Benediktsdóttir Claudia Arango Galvan Gylfi Páll Hersir Sebastian Held José Manuel Romo Jones (4Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada) Jose Luis Salas Diego Ruíz Aguilar (5Cátedras Conacyt-Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada) Arnar Már Vilhjálmsson (Iceland Geosurvey) Adele Manzella (6National Research Council, Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources) Alessandro Santilano (National Research Council, Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources)

Presentation Materials

There are no materials yet.
Your browser is out of date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now