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Nevada to step up research on machine learning techniques for geothermal exploration

Drilling as part of play fairway method (source: University of Nevada, Reno)
Carlo Cariaga Carlo Cariaga 2 Jun 2019

The Nevada Bureau of Mines has received new funding to step up research on machine learning techniques after successful identification of two new geothermal prospects in the Great Basin

Following the successful use of machine learning techniques to identify two new geothermal systems in Nevada, the Nevada Bureau of Mines has received a new grant from the Department of Energy to expand their research. The $500,000 grant will fund the first phase of the machine learning project.

Known as the Play Fairway project, the method uses artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to identify previously unrecognized correlations between datasets. Data from various surface and sub-surface sources were used for the project.

With the new grant, approximately 100 additional training sites can be added to the project and an industry partner with extensive datasets can be brought onboard.  James Faulds, director of the Bureau and principal investigator, has assembled a team that includes scientists from the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and the USGS, as well as machine learning experts from MIT and the oil industry.

US Senators Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto have expressed optimism that machine learning techniques can be of great use to geothermal exploration and production. “This technological investment will help to develop renewable energy technology to create a cleaner future for Nevada and our entire country.” the Senators added.

Source: University of Nevada, Reno