Dr. Ian Warren’s expertise is focused on the application of geology, geophysics, and geochemistry toward exploration, development, and exploitation of power-generating geothermal resources. Additional competencies include well test analysis, reservoir conceptual modeling and simulation, and electricity market analysis. Prior to joining NREL, he was chief geologist for U.S. Geothermal from 2009 to 2018, principal geologist for Ormat from 2018 to 2019, and project geologist for Meridian Gold and Yamana Gold from 2004 to 2008. He is an affiliate faculty in the Department of Geosciences at Boise State University and adjunct faculty in the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Research Interests

PI and lead author for DOE SubTER grant ($1.9M) and associated publications investigating use of passive seismic emission tomography to map permeability.

Structural and geomechanical analysis of geothermal fields and epithermal precious metals deposits.

Hydrothermal mineralization, alteration, and mass transfer associated with epithermal precious metals deposits and modern geothermal analogues.

Analysis and modeling of electricity markets and impacts of varying renewable portfolios.


Ph.D. in Geology, The University of Auckland

M.S. in Geology, Idaho State University

B.S., Vanderbilt University

Featured Work

Passive Seismic Emission Tomography Applied to Mapping of Geothermal Permeability, Geothermal Resources Council Transactions (2018)

Mapping Geothermal Permeability Using Passive Seismic Emission Tomography Constrained by Cooperative Inversion of Active Seismic and Electromagnetic Data, PROCEEDINGS, 43rd Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford University (2018)

Comparative Costs of Geothermal, Solar, and Wind Generation Based on California Independent System Operator Electricity Market Data, Geothermal Resources Council Transactions (2017)

Finding Large Aperture Fractures in Geothermal Resource Areas Using a Three-Component Long-Offset Surface Seismic Survey, PSInSAR and Kinematic Structural Analysis, DOE Final Program Report, DE-EE0002847, Recovery Act, Geothermal Technologies Program (2015)

Exploration, Development, and Management of the Neal Hot Springs Geothermal Resource, Malheur County, Oregon, Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Abstracts with Programs (2014)

Geochronology of epithermal Au-Ag mineralization, magmatic-hydrothermal alteration, and supergene weathering in the El Peñón district, northern Chile, Economic Geology (2008)

Whole-rock geochemical techniques for evaluating hydrothermal alteration, mass changes, and compositional gradients associated with epithermal Au-Ag mineralization, Economic Geology (2007)

Bonanza-grade epithermal Au-Ag mineralization at El Peñón, northern Chile, Ores and Orogenesis: Circum-Pacific Tectonics, Geologic Evolution, and Ore Deposits, Arizona Geological Society Symposium Proceedings (2007)

Geology and geochemistry of epithermal Au-Ag mineralization in the El Peñón district, northern Chile, Andean Metallogenesis: Society of Economic Geologists Special Publication 11 (2004)