Identifying Permeability controls by use of Gravity Method in Menengai Geothermal Field, Kenya

Authors(1) :-Joseph Gichira

Surface studies done in Menengai field have indicated a huge geothermal potential and has led to the drilling of several wells. However, some of these wells have not produced as earlier projected and there are questions as to whether this field has enough permeability. The purpose of this study was to employ gravity method to understand density variations in the Menengai field by developing structural models and establishing whether there is enough permeability. Raw data received from Kengen and GDC was reduced to simple Bouguer. The data was subjected to all reduction procedures and gravity models developed using surfer, a program by golden software. These models were then subjected to specific filters that helped in identification of structures responsible for permeability. These filters are: Band pass filter; applied to remove certain wavelengths, horizontal derivative filter; applied to image zones of sharp contrasts. Density inversion from results of simple Bouguer anomaly readings were generated by 3D inversion Grablox1.6 program that calculated synthetic gravity anomaly of a 3D block model. Comparison of gravity and resistivity models shows a good correlation of the magmatic intrusion and the TVA’s. From this analysis, permeability controls for Menengai geothermal field were identified as follows: caldera rim faults that contribute mostly to deep vertical recharge, NNE-SSW faults along Solai graben, NNW-SSE faults along Molo axis, the southern fault extending towards Lake Nakuru and the uplifting dome in the central part of the caldera which enhance further fracturing within the caldera. This has led to a conclusion that there is enough permeability in Menengai geothermal field. The research and its findings therefore have shown that gravity should be used as a key technique rather than a preliminary tool in geothermal exploration.

Authors and Affiliations

Joseph Gichira
Geothermal Development Company (

Menengai, Geothermal, Permeability

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Publication Details

Published in : Volume 4 | Issue 10 | September-October 2018
Date of Publication : 2018-10-30
License:  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Page(s) : 401-407
Manuscript Number : IJSRSET1841082
Publisher : Technoscience Academy

Print ISSN : 2395-1990, Online ISSN : 2394-4099

Cite This Article :

Joseph Gichira, " Identifying Permeability controls by use of Gravity Method in Menengai Geothermal Field, Kenya, International Journal of Scientific Research in Science, Engineering and Technology(IJSRSET), Print ISSN : 2395-1990, Online ISSN : 2394-4099, Volume 4, Issue 10, pp.401-407, September-October-2018. Available at doi :
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