Northwest Energy Association


Annual Membership Dues Are Now Due! Regular Members pay $40/year. Retired Members pay $32/year.

Please send you payment to the NWEA, PO Box 6679, Portland, OR 97228-6679. 



NWEA Speaker Program for 2017-2018

September 21 Luncheon


​Groundwater and Heat Flow in the Northwest Volcanic Province, U.S.A. Implications for Geothermal Energy Development


​Erick R. Burns, US Geological Survery

Heat-flow mapping of the western USA has identified apparent low-geothermal-heat-flow anomalies within the ~500,000 km2 Northwest Volcanic Province (NVP).  The largest of the contiguous heat-flow anomalies are generally coincident with the Eastern Snake River Plain (ESRP) aquifer and the Columbia Plateau Regional Aquifer System (CPRAS), and these apparent low- heat-flow anomalies have been shown to be the result of measurement bias due to advection of heat by groundwater.  The ESRP, the CPRAS, and the new USGS Northwest Volcanic Aquifer Study Area (NVASA) comprise most of the NVP, an area that contains over half of Meinzer’s high-volume springs of the U.S. (Meinzer, 1927) and much of the nation’s estimated but unproven geothermal electricity-production potential.  While the ESRP and the CPRAS have been the subject of prior systematic groundwater study, the NVASA is largely uncharacterized, though it is encircled by a range of volcanic terrains with existing USGS models.  The variation in volcanic hydrology across the NVP will be summarized, with an emphasis on physical mechanisms controlling groundwater and heat flow. Implications will be developed intuitively and quantitatively for water resources, habitat (especially, thermally sensitive groundwater-dependent ecosystems), and heat flow/geothermal energy development.


Erick Burns is a research hydrologist with the USGS Oregon Water Science Center.  His research experience is varied, including groundwater flow and transport, geothermal energy, geostatistical methods and stochastic analysis, process thermodynamics, agricultural water pollution, and seawater intrusion. Additionally, Erick has taught hydrology and geostatistics courses.

https://www.usgs.gov/staff-profiles/erick-r-burns



October 19: GSA Annual Meeting in Seattle. No luncheon

November 16, coordinated by Steve Pappajohn, A talk from a tribal member on creative energy issues

December 21: No luncheon

January 18:  Coordinated by John Armentrout, Jason McClaughry of DOGAMI on tectonics of SE Oregon

February: coordinated by John Armentrout

Paul Oldaker – his AAPG Talk