The Interpretive Geothermal Heat Flow Map of Colorado depicts the movement of heat from the Earth’s interior to its surface in Colorado. The geographic distribution of heat flow is one of several indicators of the location of potential geothermal resources in Colorado. Heat flow data are merely one of several types of data that indicate the quality of geothermal resources in an area. Other data types also useful in assessing geothermal resources are geothermal gradient, geothermometry, geophysical data (electrical, magnetic, magnetotelluric, gravity, remote sensing), shallow-depth ground temperature measurements, and others.
This map compiles the most recently available data regarding heat flow in Colorado by using geothermal databases from Southern Methodist University, University of North Dakota, and University of Michigan. In addition, the Colorado Geological Survey calculated 40 additional heat flow values from borehole temperature-depth logs and other published gradient data. This information is useful for geothermal resource exploration, especially when used in conjunction with other types of geological, geophysical, and hydrogeological data.
Funding for this project was provided jointly by the Governor’s Energy Office (contract C900537) and the Colorado Geological Survey from the Colorado Department of Natural Resources Severance Tax Operational Fund. Severance taxes are derived from the production of gas, oil, coal, and minerals.