Topographic and Air-Photo Lineaments in Various Locations Related to Geothermal Exploration in Colorado

These line shapefiles trace apparent topographic and air-photo lineaments in various counties in Colorado. It was made in order to identify possible fault and fracture systems that might be conduits for geothermal fluids, as part of a DOE reconnaissance geothermal exploration program.

Geothermal fluids commonly utilize fault and fractures in competent rocks as conduits for fluid flow. Geothermal exploration involves finding areas of high near-surface temperature gradients, along with a suitable "plumbing system" that can provide the necessary permeability. Geothermal power plants can sometimes be built where temperature and flow rates are high.

This line shapefile is an attempt to use desktop GIS to delineate possible faults and fracture orientations and locations in highly prospective areas prior to an initial site visit. Geochemical sampling and geologic mapping could then be centered around these possible faults and fractures.

To do this, georeferenced topographic maps and aerial photographs were utilized in an existing GIS, using ESRI ArcMap 10.0 software. The USA_Topo_Maps and World_Imagery map layers were chosen from the GIS Server at, using a UTM Zone 13 NAD27 projection. This line shapefile was then constructed over that which appeared to be through-going structural lineaments in both the aerial photographs and topographic layers, taking care to avoid manmade features such as roads, fence lines, and utility right-of-ways. Still, it is unknown what actual features these lineaments, if they exist, represent.

Although the shapefiles are arranged by county, not all areas within any county have been examined for lineaments. Work was focused on either satellite thermal infrared anomalies, known hot springs or wells, or other evidence of geothermal systems. Finally, lineaments may be displaced somewhat from their actual location, due to such factors as shadow effects with low sun angles in the aerial photographs.

Credits: These lineament shapefile was created by Geothermal Development Associates, as part of a geothermal geologic reconnaissance performed by Flint Geothermal, LLC, of Denver Colorado.

Use Limitation: These shapefiles were constructed as an aid to geothermal exploration in preparation for a site visit for field checking. We make no claims as to the existence of the lineaments, their location, orientation, and/or nature.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Author Flint Geothermal, LLC
Maintainer Richard Zehner
bureau_code 019:20
Catalog GDR
Contact Phone 775.737.7806
harvest_object_id 2bb1ddd7-ced0-4f04-a45c-b2fba7799069
harvest_source_id 154c8289-1404-4e71-a217-a08000129ad0
harvest_source_title Geothermal Data Repository (GDR)
Origination Date 2012-02-01
program_code 019:006
Sectors Geothermal
was_harvested true

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Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
Tiles by OpenStreetMap