Final Report: Low Temperature Geothermal Play Fairway Analysis for the Appalachian Basin


This is a final report summarizing a two-year (2014-16) DOE funded Geothermal Play Fairway Analysis of the Low-Temperature resources of the Appalachian Basin of New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Collaborators included Cornell University, Southern Methodist University, and West Virginia University. As a result of the research, 'play fairways' were identified for further study, based on four risk criteria: 1) the Thermal Resource Quality, 2) the Natural Reservoir Quality, 3) the Risk of Seismic Activity, and the 4) Utilization Viability.

In addition to the final report document, this submission includes project 'memos' referred to throughout the report. Many of these same memos are also provided in the submissions with the detailed data products accompanying the relevant risk factor (thermal, reservoir, seismicity, and utilization). This report updates a preliminary version submitted in late 2015 (Submission 559 - See "Reservoir Analysis 2015" below)

This file presents the Final Report and Supporting Documents for a Geothermal Play Fairway Analysis of the Appalachian Basin sectors of New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The purpose of this Department of Energy funded effort was to assess the potential for viable low temperature (50-150 degrees C) geothermal energy exploration and development using the methods of Play Fairway Analysis. The resources analyzed occur at depths of 1000 m and greater below the surface, and the application scenarios considered are for direct utilization of the heat. This report illustrates the lateral variability of each of the four risk criteria. This report also illustrates multiple alternative methods to combine those factors in order to communicate the estimated overall favorability of geothermal development. Uncertainty in the risk estimation is also quantified. Based on these metrics, geothermal plays in the Appalachian Basin were identified as potentially viable for a variety of direct-use-heat applications. The methodologies developed in this project and presented in this report may be applied in other sedimentary basins as a foundation for geothermal resource, risk, and uncertainty assessment. Accompanying this report is an Appendix that describes in greater detail the methods used in the analysis, and 17 other technical memos that document criteria, methods and decisions on which the final product was built.

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Additional Info

DOE Project Name: Low Temperature Geothermal Play Fairway Analysis for the Appalachian Basin
DOE Project Number: EE0006726
DOE Project Lead: Holly Thomas
Last Updated: 11 months ago
Data from November, 2015
Submitted Jan 31, 2017


Cornell University



Publicly accessible License 


Teresa E. Jordan
Cornell University


geothermal, Appalachian Basin, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, district heating, deep direct use, low-temperature, reservoir, productivity, favorability, reservoir productivity index, reservoir flow capacity, GPFA-AB, Geothermal Play Fairway Analysis, thermal analysis, resource assessment, heat flow, thermal conductivity, geotherms, heat utilization, surface leveled cost of heat, LCOH, SLCOH, demand, GEOPHIRES, combined risk segment maps, risk analysis, induced seismicity, faults, potential fields, wavelets, BHT corrections, low temperature


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