RS-24 Geothermal Resource Assessment of Ranger Warm Springs, Colorado


In 1977 the CGS, in cooperation with the U.S. Dept. of Energy (USDOE), Division of Geothermal Energy, initiated and funded a program designed to determine the nature and extent of Colorado’s geothermal resources. During 1980-81 the CGS assessed the geological, hydrogeological, geophysical, and geochemical features of geothermal resources in the Cement Creek Valley south of Crested Butte, located in the Elk Mountains of west central Colorado. Digital PDF download. RS-24D

There are two thermal springs in the valley, Cement Creek and Ranger, about 4 mi (6.4 km) apart. Access problems limited field work to the Ranger area. With an estimated annual average discharge of 195 gallons per minute of calcium-bicarbonate type water, Ranger Warm Springs maintains temperatures between 77-79°F (25-26°C). An electrical resistivity survey indicated that the waters of the springs are moving up along a buried fault that parallels Cement Creek. The areal extent of the springs thermal system encompasses approximately 0.30 mi2 (1.01 km2):and 0.88 mi2 (2.28 km2) depending upon how much faulting is included. The energy contained in the spring system ranges from 0.0021 Q’s to 0.0062 Q’s (1015 BTU’s) at an average temperature of 113°F (45°C). 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.