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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 65 (1981)

Issue: 3. (March)

First Page: 566

Last Page: 566

Title: Evaluation of Geothermal Potential, Albuquerque Area, New Mexico: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Mark D. Parker, George R. Jiracek

Article Type: Meeting abstract


The first comprehensive evaluation of the geothermal potential of the Albuquerque, New Mexico, area, recently completed, included gravity and magnetic surveys, electrical resistivity measurements, temperature logging of water wells and of shallow (25 m) temperature-gradient boreholes, and geochemical analysis of local waters. Local seismic history and temperature records from municipal water wells were also analyzed. Geothermal anomalies of the Albuquerque area were delineated if temperature gradients in excess of 35°C/km were detected, as this figure is the average temperature gradient for the Rio Grande rift.

Temperature logging of city water wells resulted in the identification of two well fields having anomalously warm water at shallow depth. The Walker well field, on Albuquerque's north side, has 32°C water at a depth of 320 m, representing a gradient of 53°C/km. At the West Mesa well field, on Albuquerque's west side, recent pumping prevented the obtaining of an accurate temperature gradient. However, repeat measurements at selected depths suggest a gradient of approximately 65°C/km.

A third site, about 8 km west of Albuquerque, was found to have shallow temperature gradients in excess of 120°C/km. Near this site, magnetic surveys indicated that several igneous bodies are buried beneath 300 m of alluvial sediments. Because no water wells exist at this remote location, shallow boreholes were drilled for temperature logging. The resulting values of temperature gradient show a distinct high of greater than 120°C/km superposed on a background of 60°C/km.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists