Seismic Imaging Through the Volcanic Rocks of the Snake River Plain: Insights from Project Hotspot

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Hotspot: The Snake River Geothermal Drilling Project was undertaken to better understand geothermal systems across the Snake River Plain volcanic province. A series of surface and borehole seismic profiles were obtained to provide insights into volcanic stratigraphy and test the capabilities of engineering-scale seismic imaging in such terranes. The Kimberly site drilled through 1.9 km of mostly rhyolite, with thin sedimentary interbeds in the upper part of the section. The Kimama site drilled through 1.9 km of mostly basalt with sedimentary interbeds at ∼200 m depth and 1700 m depth. The Mountain Home site contained numerous sediment and volcanic rock layers. Downhole and surface vibroseis seismic results suggest sedimentary interbeds at depth correspond with low-velocity, high-temperature zones that relate to reflections on seismic profiles. Our results suggest that eruption flow volumes can be estimated and flow boundaries can be imaged with surface seismic methods using relatively high-fold and wide-angle coverage. High-frequency attenuation is observed at all sites, and this deficit may be countered by acquisition design and a focus on signal processing steps. Separation of surface and body waves was obtained by muting, and the potential for large static effects was identified and addressed in processing. An accurate velocity model and lithology contacts derived from borehole information improved the confidence of our seismic interpretations.