Geothermal Assessment of the Lower Bear River Drainage and Northern East Shore Ground-Water Areas, Box Elder County, Utah

Robert H. Klauk, Energy Section
Karin E. Budding, Energy Section

DOE/ET/28393--T4 Report of Investigation, Utah Geological and Mineral Survey, no. 186 Prepared for U.S. Department of Energy, Idaho Operations Office, Under Special Research Contract


The Utah Geological and Mineral Survey (UGMS) has been researching the low-temperature geothermal resource potential in Utah as per U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Contract DE-AS07-77ET28393. This report, part of an area-wide geothermal research program along the Wasatch Front, concerns the study conducted in the lower Bear River drainage and northern East Shore ground-water areas in Box Elder County, Utah. The primary purpose of the study is to identify new areas of geothermal areas in this part of Box Elder County.

Geothermal reconnaissance techniques used in the study include a temperature survey, chemical analysis of well and spring waters, and temperature-depth measurements in accessible wells. The geothermal reconnaissance techniques identified three areas which need further evaluation of their low-temperature geothermal resource potential. Area 1 is located in the area surrounding Little Mountain, area 2 is west and southwest of Plymouth, and area 3 is west and south of the Cutler Dam.

Area 1 is identified by geochemical techniques. Common ion concentrations indicate that the water is either Na-Ca Cl or Na Cl in character, thereby similar to analysis of known thermal areas sampled. Trace element analyses show that concentrations of Sr, Li and b are comparable with thermal springs in the study area and are generally much higher than inthe non-thermal samples. The ratio of Ca/HCO3 for water in area 1 is similar to ratios for thermal samples. Chemical geothermometry indicates similarities between non-thermal samples and Little Mountain and Stinking thermal springs samples, all within area 1.

Areas 2 and 3 are identified by temperature-depth logging. No anomalous chemical concentrations are found in the samples analyzed from wells. Both of these areas have temperature-depth profiles with extremely high calculated gradients. In addition, bottom-hole temperatures are greater than 20 degrees C.