The geothermal exploration does involve the search for active geothermal regions with the intention of building the geothermal power plants. The exploration methods do involve several techniques ranging from the drilling process into the geochemical analysis.
The geochemical analysis involves the analysis of relationships between surface fluid properties into geothermal bodies. Geothermometers and other sophisticated instruments are used to measure the subsurface temperatures. In the geochemical analysis for geothermal exploration, temperature, the ratios of isotopes, elemental ratios (such as mercury and carbon dioxide), etc are a few of the significant measurements being made.
In the magnetic method for exploration of geothermal energy, identification of the depth of the Curie point or Curie temperature is the main measurement.
Most of the geological materials are non-conductors of power and thus have high resistivity but the structural characteristics can boost their conductivity. Such transformation in conductivity does facilitate the mapping and thus the composition of the subsurface lithology The magnetotellurics measurements facilitate the identification of resistivity anomalies associated with the geothermal structural features such as faults. Such measurements would result in an assessment of geothermal reservoir temperatures at several depths. This method was successfully employed for the detection of geothermal energy in several states and particularly around the ring of fire.
The resistivity methods are also being widely used to explore the geothermal energy resources. The flowing geothermal waters are the zones of reduced resistance.
The gravity method is usually utilized to identify the subsurface density anomalies. Such measurements would be helpful to locate the geothermal regions. The aerial gravitational techniques are more efficient in the collection of information. The gravity data should be adjusted for elevation, latitude, etc..
These regions are usually characterized by low magnitude earthquakes. Hence, further studies in such locations might provide clues to the identification of geothermal energy sites.
The drilling process is one of the most expensive but can provide reliable information related to the subsurface. The geothermal characteristics like thermal pockets, temperature gradients, etc are obtained by using several types of drilling methods. The latest developments in remote sensing techniques have also been helping in the exploration of geothermal energy resources.