Drilling into molten rock at Kilauea Iki

Colp, John L.
Okamura, R.T.
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Sandia National Laboratories
The scientific feasibility of extracting energy directly from buried circulating magma resources is being assessed. One of the tasks of the project is the study of geophysical measuring systems to locate and define buried molten rock bodies. To verify the results of a molten rock sensing experiment performed at Kilauea Iki lava lake, it is necessary to drill a series of holes through the solid upper crust and through the molten zone at that location. Thirteen holes have been drilled in Kilauea Iki. The results achieved during the drilling of the last two holes indicated that the molten zone in Kilauea Iki is not a simple, relatively homogeneous fluid body as expected. The encountering of an unexpected, unknown rigid obstruction 2.5 ft below the crust/melt interface has led to the conceptual development of a drilling system intended to have the capability to drill through a hot, rigid obstruction while the drill stem is immersed in molten rock. The concept will be field tested at Kilauea Iki in the summer of 1978.
Report Numbers: SAND-78-0443C; CONF-780708-1; OSTI ID: 6700728
magma energy, heat extraction, novel resources, Kilauea, Kilauea Iki
Colp JL, Okamura RT. 1978. Drilling into Molten Rock at Kilauea Iki. Albuquerque (NM): Sandia Laboratories.
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