9/2/2004

Contact: Rex Buchanan, Kansas Geological Survey, (785) 864-2106.

KU's Kansas Geological Survey helps produce continental geothermal map

LAWRENCE -- A new full-color map showing geothermal information for North America has been produced by the Kansas Geological Survey at the University of Kansas.

Geothermal energy comes from the earth's natural internal heat, such as heated rocks or water. Geysers and hot springs are examples of geothermal energy, and those energy sources can be tapped and used to generate power.

The map, primarily based on temperatures recorded at the bottom of oil and gas wells and other heat-related data, will be useful for analyzing sites for their potential for producing geothermal energy. It will also be useful in oil and gas and mineral exploration, as well as providing a better understanding of North America's continental plates.

In addition to geothermal data, the map shows the location of geothermal wells and power plants, hot springs and volcanoes, all indications of increased temperatures in the earth's subsurface.

The full-color map is a single sheet that measures 48 inches by 60 inches. It replaces a similar map published in 1992 that was produced on four separate sheets. The new map also is based on about 28,000 data points, compared to about 4,000 for the 1992 version.

Copies of the map are available from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists at http://www.aapg.org.

Research and production were funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The map was published under contract with the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, a professional scientific society based in Tulsa. The authors are David Blackwell and Maria Richards of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Kansas Geological Survey cartographer Elizabeth Crouse designed and produced the map.

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