Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Department name when degree awarded


Committee Chair(s)

Peter T. Kolesar


Peter T. Kolesar


Donald W. Fiesinger


James McCalpin


Clyde T. Hardy


The purpose of this study was to continue the assessment of low-temperature geothermal resources in Utah started by the Utah Geological and Mineral Survey. The area of interest with in this report is north-central Box Elder County, Utah. Exploration techniques used included chemical analyses of water from wells and springs, temperature surveys, and temperature-depth measurements in unused wells within the study area. The highest water temperatures (31, 30, and 29°C) recorded in this research were located in three separate geographic regions, suggesting that no single warm water occurrence dominates the study area.

Total dissolved solid (TDS) concentrations ranged from 294 to 11,590 mg/l. Areas of warm water occurrences generally had TDS values of greater than 1,100 mg/l. Three water types were distinguished using trilinear plots of common ion analyses of collected water samples. The warmest wells were of Type III water character, which has high (>75%) sodium and chloride concentrations.

Reservoir temperatures were estimated using the water chemistry. Both the silica and the Na-K-Ca geothermometers were used to calculate reservoir temperatures, averaging between 50°C and 100°C. If mixing effects are taken into account, reservoir temperatures might be as high as 198°C.

Temperature-depth measurements were logged in 16 unused wells. Thermal gradients calculated from the profiles ranged from isothermal to 267°C/km. The background gradient for the study area appears to be slightly above the average Basin and Range gradient of 35°C/km. The highest gradients were calculated for the area approximately 8 kilometers west of Snowville, Utah, which is also an area of warm water.

Several areas of possible low-temperature geothermal interest have been identified in the study area by considering water temperatures, calculated reservoir temperatures, and temperature-depth data. However, additional work is needed to more accurately define the possible geothermal resource in these areas.



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