RS-15 Geothermal Resource Assessment of Ouray, Colorado


Geothermal assessment of Ouray, Colorado. Includes geology, hydrology, geophysics, and geochemical resources. 70 pages. 23 figures. 14 tables. 5 appendices. Digital PDF download. RS-15D

The community of Ouray, Colorado is located within Ouray County in a natural amphitheater-shaped valley, on the north side of the San Juan Mountains. Thermal springs in the Ouray vicinity are found on the south side at the Box Canyon; on the east side of town in the area around the Wiesbaden Motel; and on the north side of town in the area surrounding the municipal pool.

Temperatures range from 68 to 127°F (22 to 69°C). Discharge rates range from 2 to 200 gpm. Total dissolved solids in the springs, where measured, range from 695 to 1,840 mg/l. The waters are a calcium sulfate type with high lithium (2,800 mg/l) and boron (200 mg/l) content.

The resource assessment program conducted in the Ouray Valley indicated three areas worthy of consideration pertaining to a potential geothermal resource. The first area was above and adjacent to the Wiesbaden Motel. The second area was in the Box Canyon Motel area and the Switchbacks immediately to the south. The third area was the municipal Ball Park and the Radium Springs swimming pool area. Water quality data from these springs is included in the report appendix, along with an evaluation of soil mercury concentrations used to delineate faults or permeable zones.