The Organic Act of 1879 (43 U.S.C. 31) that established the U.S. Geological Survey provided, among other things, for the classification of the public lands and for the examination of the geological structure, mineral sources, and products of the national domain. In order to provide uniform executive action in classifying public lands, standards for determining which lands are valuable for mineral resources, for example, leasable mineral lands, or for other products are prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey. This report presents the classification standards for determining which Federal lands are classifiable as geothermal steam and associated geothermal resources lands under the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970 (84 Star. 1566).
The concept of a geothermal resources province is established for classification of lands for the purpose of retention in Federal ownership of rights to geothermal resources upon disposal of Federal lands. A geothermal resources province is defined as an area in which higher than normal temperatures are likely to occur with depth and in which there is a reasonable possibility of finding reservoir rocks that will yield steam or heated fluids to wells.
The determination of a 'known geothermal resources area' is made after careful evaluation of the available geologic, geochemical, and geophysical data and any evidence derived from nearby discoveries, competitive interests, and other indicia. The initial classification required by the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970 is presented.