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Geothermal occurrences in Truckee Meadows, Washoe County, Nevada
AuthorScheibach, Robert Bruce
AdvisorMaxey, George B.
Geological Sciences and Engineering
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Hot springs are numerous within Truckee Meadows area of northwestern Nevada. Mast occur along the flanks of the Carson and Virginia Ranges. This study examines these thermal occurrences and looks at various aspects of each thermal area. A shallow geothermal gradient of 52°C/Km has been established for Truckee Meadows. The high gradient could be related to a combination of high temperature upper mantle and a thin upper crust. It is possible that deep circulation of meteoric waters and the high geothermal gradient produce thermal waters. Surface occurrences then result from localization of the heated waters along fault zones. Observed temperatures range from 180°C at Steamboat Springs, to 50°C at Lawton Hot Springs. Estimated reservoir temperatures, based upon SiC^/ Na-K, and Na-K-Ca geothernometers, are 201°C, 134°C, and 130°C for Steamboat, Moana and Lawton Hot Springs, respectively. Available data indicates an estimated heat discharge for Moana to be 1.96 BTU/sec. Assuming a steady state system exists for Moana, a conservative estimate of between 300 and 400 individual dwellings could make use of the thermal waters.
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