Harry D. Goode

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Western and central Utah has 16 areas whose wells or springs yield hot water (35 degrees C or higher), warm water (20 degrees - 34.5 degrees C), and slightly warm water (15.5 degrees - 19.5 degrees C). These areas and the highest recorded water temperature for each area: Lower Bear River Area, 105 degrees; Bonneville Salt Flats, 88 degrees; Cove Fort - Sulphurdale, 77 degrees; Curlew Valley, 43 degrees; East Shore Area, 60 degrees; Escalante Desert, 149 degrees; Escalante Valley (Roosevelt, 269 degrees, and Thermo, 85 degrees); Fish Springs, 60.5 degrees; Grouse Creek Valley, 42 degrees; Heber Valley (Midway, 45 degrees); Jordan Valley, 58.5 degrees; Payant Valley-Black Rock Desert, 67 degrees; Sevier Desert (Abraham-Crater Hot Springs, 82 degrees); Sevier Valley (Monroe-Red Hill, 76.5 degrees, and Joseph Hot Spring, 64 degrees); Utah Valley, 46 degrees; and Central Virgin River Basin, 42 degrees. The only hot water in eastern Utah comes from the oil wells of the Ashley Valley Oil Field, which in 1977 yielded 4400 acre-feet of water at 43 degrees to 55 degrees C. Many other areas yield warm water (20 degrees to 34.5 degrees C) and slightly warm water (15.5 degrees to 19.5 degrees C).

With the possible exception of the Roosevelt KGRA, Crater Hot Springs in the Sevier Desert, Escalante Desert, Pavant-Black Rock, Cove Fort-Sulphurdale, and Coyote Spring in Curlew Valley, which may derive their heat from buried igneous bodies, the heat that warms the thermal water is derived from the geothermal gradient. Meteoric water circulates through fractures or permeable rocks deep within the earth, where it is warmed; it then rises by convection or artesian pressure and issues at the surface as springs or is tapped by wells. Most thermal springs thus rise along faults, but some thermal water is trapped in confined aquifers so that it spreads laterally as it mixes with and warms cooler near-surface water. This spreading of thermal waters is evident in Cache Valley, in Jordan Valley, and in southern Utah Valley; likely the spreading occurs in many other artesian basins where it has not yet been recognized. In the East Shore Area thermal water trapped in confined aquifers warms water in overlying aquifers.

Some of the areas of hot water, such as Roosevelt, Pavant-Black Rock, and Cove Fort-Sulphurdale, probably have a potential to produce electricity; the estimated potential at Roosevelt is 300 megawatts. But the many areas of warm and hot water whose temperatrues are too low to produce electricity may still have their waters utilized for space heating, as is planned for Monroe, for greenhouses, and for the processing of farm produce.

In this report are tables that give records of about 1500 thermal springs and wells, 66 yield hot water, more than 400 yield warm water, and more than 1000 yield slightly warm water. The records include location, ownership, temperature, yield, depth (of wells), geologic unit, and some chemical analyses.