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Geothermal Energy Science An open-access journal
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Volume 4, issue 1 | Copyright
Geoth. Energ. Sci., 4, 11-22, 2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  15 Jan 2016

15 Jan 2016

Geothermometric evaluation of geothermal resources in southeastern Idaho

G. Neupane1,2, E. D. Mattson1, T. L. McLing1,2, C. D. Palmer3, R. W. Smith3, T. R. Wood4, and R. K. Podgorney1 G. Neupane et al.
  • 1Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
  • 2Center for Advanced Energy Studies, Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
  • 3Office of Research & Economic Development, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA
  • 4Department of Geological Sciences, University of Idaho – Idaho Falls, Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

Abstract. Southeastern Idaho exhibits numerous warm springs, warm water from shallow wells, and hot water from oil and gas test wells that indicate a potential for geothermal development in the area. We have estimated reservoir temperatures from chemical composition of thermal waters in southeastern Idaho using an inverse geochemical modeling technique (Reservoir Temperature Estimator, RTEst) that calculates the temperature at which multiple minerals are simultaneously at equilibrium while explicitly accounting for the possible loss of volatile constituents (e.g., CO2), boiling and/or water mixing. The temperature estimates in the region varied from moderately warm (59°C) to over 175°C. Specifically, hot springs near Preston, Idaho, resulted in the highest reservoir temperature estimates in the region.

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Short summary
Geothermal potential of southern part of Idaho in the US was recognized in the early 1970s; however, the commercial utilization of geothermal resources in the area is yet to be realized. The composition of hot spring/well water can tell us how hot the water at depth is. In this study, we assembled several existing thermal water compositions to estimate reservoir temperatures with a new tool. Our results show that some areas (e.g., Preston) in southern Idaho have good geothermal potential.
Geothermal potential of southern part of Idaho in the US was recognized in the early 1970s;...