Description: Extensive sampling and geochemical analysis of groundwater in and near the base disclosed no significant geothermal parameters. However, structural conditions and current hydrologic regimes strongly suggest that thermal waters would be masked by near surface, low temperature meteoric water originating as rain and snowfall in the nearby mountains. Controlled source audio-magnetotelluric (CSAMT) electromagnetic techniques, refraction seismic experiments, and gravity traverses were utilized on the base. These, together with published geohysical information that presents evidence for a shallow magma body beneath the Albuquerque Basin; favorable terrestrial heat flow, water chemistry, and shallow temperature gradient holes on the nearby mesa west of the Rio Grande; interpretation of regional gravity data; and geological data from nearby deep wells tend to confirm structural, stratigraphic, and hydrologic conditions favorable for developing an extensive intermediate to high-temperature hydrothermal regime on portions of Kirtland AFB lands where intensive land use occurs. Two possible exploration and development scenarios are presented. One involves drilling a well to a depth of 3000 to 5000 ft (914 to 1524 m) to test the possibility of encountering higher than normal water temperatures on the basinward side of the faults underlying the travertine deposits. The other is to conduct limited reflection seismograph surveys in defined areas on the base to determine the depth to basement (granite) and thickness of the overyling, unconfined, water filled, relatively unconsolidated sand and gravel aquifer.
Date: October 1, 1981
Creator: Grant, P.R. Jr.
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department