Steamboat Springs Geothermal Area

From Open Energy Information

Area Overview

Geothermal Area Profile

Location: Nevada

Exploration Region: Walker-Lane Transition Zone

GEA Development Phase: Operational
"Operational" is not in the list of possible values (Phase I - Resource Procurement and Identification, Phase II - Resource Exploration and Confirmation, Phase III - Permitting and Initial Development, Phase IV - Resource Production and Power Plant Construction) for this property.

Coordinates: 39.3881°, -119.7431°

Resource Estimate

Mean Reservoir Temp: 210°C
483.15 K
410 °F
869.67 °R

Estimated Reservoir Volume: 9.71 km³
9,710,000,000 m³
2.33 mi³
342,905,413,860.91 ft³
12,700,200,510.49 yd³
9,710,000,000,000 L

Mean Capacity: 147 MW
147,000 kW
147,000,000 W
147,000,000,000 mW
0.147 GW
1.47e-4 TW

USGS Mean Reservoir Temp: 165°C
438.15 K
329 °F
788.67 °R

USGS Estimated Reservoir Volume: 3 km³ [3]

USGS Mean Capacity: 18 MW [3]

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History and Infrastructure

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Regulatory and Environmental Issues

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Exploration History

First Discovery Well

Completion Date:

Well Name:



Initial Flow Rate:

Flow Test Comment:

Initial Temperature:

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Well Field Description

Well Field Information

Development Area:

Number of Production Wells:

Number of Injection Wells:

Number of Replacement Wells:

Average Temperature of Geofluid: 228°C
501.15 K
442.4 °F
902.07 °R

Sanyal Classification (Wellhead): Moderate Temperature

Reservoir Temp (Geothermometry):

Reservoir Temp (Measured): 237°C
510.15 K
458.6 °F
918.27 °R

Sanyal Classification (Reservoir): High Temperature

Depth to Top of Reservoir: 200 m
0.2 km
0.124 mi
656.168 ft
218.722 yd

Depth to Bottom of Reservoir: 914 m
0.914 km
0.568 mi
2,998.688 ft
999.56 yd

Average Depth to Reservoir: 557 m
0.557 km
0.346 mi
1,827.428 ft
609.141 yd

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Geology of the Area

Geologic Setting

Tectonic Setting: Extensional Tectonics

Controlling Structure: Fault Intersection [5]

Topographic Features: Horst and Graben

Brophy Model: Type E: Extensional Tectonic, Fault-Controlled Resource

Moeck-Beardsmore Play Type: CV-3: Extensional Domain

Geologic Features

Modern Geothermal Features: Fumaroles, Geysers, Hot Springs [4]

Relict Geothermal Features: Hydrothermal Deposition [4]

Volcanic Age: No volcanism

Host Rock Age: 1- Cretaceous; 2- Pliocene-Pleistocene

Host Rock Lithology: 1- granodiorite; 2- basaltic andesite

Cap Rock Age:

Cap Rock Lithology:

The given value was not understood.

The Steamboat Springs thermal area is located south of Reno at the north end of the Steamboat Hills, one of several transverse ridges which divide a major north-south structural trough into separate basins. The Virginia Range east of the trough consists predominantly of Tertiary andesite with some basalt and rhyolite. The Carson Range to the west of the trough is predominantly Cretaceous granodiorite with various amounts of metamorphosed Triassic and older marine and volcanic rocks. The granodiorite is related to the Sierra Nevada batholith. At least four rhyolite domes of Pleistocene age have been intruded into the basaltic andesite, granodiorite, and metamorphic rocks which make up the bulk of the Steamboat Hills and the Virginia Range. The southernmost of these intrusive domes may supply most of the heat discharged by the geothermal system. Faults in the geothermal area trend either northeastward parallel to the trend of the transverse ridge, or northward, parallel to the structural trough. A few northwest-trending lineaments have been noted on air photos. The upflow zone has been nearly penetrated, producing 228°C waters (at most 15°C short of the deep reservoir temperature) at depths of 750-900m in cretaceous granodiorite. The outflow zone is also producing electricity with waters of 180°C at depths of ~500m in Pliocene to Pleistocene basaltic andesite.[6]

Heat Source

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  • The given value was not understood.
known or inferred magmatic system[7]

Geofluid Geochemistry


Salinity (low): 2100

Salinity (high):

Salinity (average): 2100

Brine Constituents:

Water Resistivity:

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NEPA-Related Analyses (1)

Below is a list of NEPA-related analyses that have been conducted in the area - and logged on OpenEI. To add an additional NEPA-related analysis, see the NEPA Database.


Document #Analysis
DOE-EA-1116EAExergy, Inc.22 February 1999United States Department of EnergyGeothermal/Power Plant
Geothermal/Well Field
Geothermal/Grid Connection

Exploration Activities (2)

Below is a list of Exploration that have been conducted in the area - and cataloged on OpenEI. Add.png Add a new Exploration Activity

Page Technique Activity Start Date Activity End Date Reference Material
Isotopic Analysis-Fluid At Steamboat Springs Geothermal Area (1982) Isotopic Analysis-Fluid 1982 1982

SWIR at Steamboat Springs Geothermal Area (Kruse 2012) SWIR


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ruggero Bertani. 2005. World Geothermal Power Generation 2001-2005. Proceedings of World Geothermal Congress; Turkey: World Geothermal Congress.
  2. Geothermex Inc.. 2004. New Geothermal Site Identification and Qualification. Richmond, CA: California Energy Commission. Report No.: P500-04-051. Contract No.: 500-04-051.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 U.S. Geological Survey. 2008. Assessment of Moderate- and High-Temperature Geothermal Resources of the United States. USA: U.S. Geological Survey. Report No.: Fact Sheet 2008-3082.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named a37
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named a9

List of existing Geothermal Resource Areas.