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Thermal springs in the Salmon River basin, central Idaho

January 1, 1982

The Salmon River basin drains approximately 13,000 square miles in central Idaho underlain by the Idaho batholith. Geologic units in the basin include igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks and granitic rocks predominate. Water from thermal springs ranges in temperature from 20.5 degrees to 94.0 degrees Celsius. The waters are slightly alkaline and are generally a sodium carbonate or bicarbonate type. Dissolved-solids concentrations are variable and range from 103 to 839 milligrams per liter. Estimated reservoir temperatures determined from the silicic acid-corrected silica, sodium-potassium-calcium, and sulfate-water isotope geothermometers range from 30 degrees to 184 degrees Celsius. Tritium concentrations in sampled thermal waters are near zero and indicate the waters are at least 100 years old and may be considerably older. Stable-isotope data indicate it is unlikely that a single area of recharge or a single hot-water reservoir supplies all hot springs in the basin. Thermal springs discharged at least 15,800 acre-feet of water in 1980. Associated convective heat flux is 27 million calories per second. (USGS)

Publication Year 1982
Title Thermal springs in the Salmon River basin, central Idaho
DOI 10.3133/ofr82104
Authors H.W. Young, R.E. Lewis
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 82-104
Index ID ofr82104
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse