Geothermal resources of southern Idaho

Circular 866




The geothermal resource of southern Idaho as assessed by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1978 is large. Most of the known hydrothermal systems in southern Idaho have calculated reservoir temperatures of less than 150?C. Water from many of these systems is valuable for direct heat applications, but is lower than the temperature of interest for commercial generation of electricity at the present time. Most of the known and inferred geothermal resources of southern Idaho underlie the Snake River Plain. However, major uncertainties exist concerning the geology and temperatures beneath the plain. By far the largest hydrothermal system in Idaho is in the Bruneau-Grand View area of the western Snake River Plain with a calculated reservoir temperature of 107?C and an energy of 4.5? 10 20 joules. No evidence of higher temperature water associated with this system has been found. Although the geology of the eastern Snake River Plain suggests that a large thermal anomaly may underlie this area of the plain, direct evidence of high temperatures has not been found. Large volumes of water at temperatures between 90? and 150?C probably exist along the margins of the Snake River Plain and in local areas north and south of the plain. Areas that appear particularly promising for the occurrence of large high-temperature hydrothermal systems are: the area north of the Snake River Plain and west of the Idaho batholith, the Island Park area, segments of the margins of the eastern Snake River Plain, and the Blackfoot lava field.

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Geothermal resources of southern Idaho
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U.S. Geological Survey,
iii, 24 p. :ill., maps ;26 cm.