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High-temperature geothermal resources of Utah (B-123)


By: D. R. Mabey and K. E. Budding

Numerous thermal springs and shallow wells in western Utah are near-surface evidence of geothermal systems containing heat energy that can be produced and put to beneficial use. The seven known geothermal systems in Utah that contain water or steam at temperatures greater than 90°C are in an area of southwestern Utah here defined as the Sevier thermal area. Hot water and steam produced from two of these systems, Roosevelt and Cove Fort, are being used to generate electricity. Two of the systems, Joseph and Monroe-Red Hill, apparently contain only moderate-temperature water that may be useful for space heating and industrial processes but not useful in the foreseeable future for the generation of electricity. The other three systems of Fumarole Butte, Thermo, and Newcastle require additional exploration before their potential can be evaluated. The geological and geophysical data in Pavant Valley indicate a promising area for the occurrence of a high-temperature geothermal resource where no hot water has been discovered. An evaluation of exploration data obtained for the known geothermal systems provides an indication of what geological, geophysical and geochemical techniques are most useful in Utah for exploring known geothermal systems and in the search for undiscovered systems.

This study is concerned primarily with those geothermal systems that appear capable of producing steam or water at temperatures of 90°C or higher. We classify these as high-temperature systems. The USGS in the Assessment of Geothermal Resources of the United States - 1978 classified hydrothermal systems as (1) high-temperature-greater than 150°C, (2) intermediate-temperature-between 90° - 150°C, and (3) low-temperature-below 90°C. Thus we include in our high-temperature classification both the high- and intermediate-temperature systems of Muffler and Guffanti.

Other Information:
Published: 1987
Pages: 64 p.
Location: Utah
Media Type: Paper Publication

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