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Interactive map shows geothermal resources

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 12, 2013 at 7:03 pm •  Published: February 12, 2013
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The Oregon map is covered with 690 little squares showing hot and warm springs, color-coded for temperature, and more than 1,000 little blue triangles showing wells where temperatures have been recorded. The points link to more information, including location and documents on characteristics of the site, such as water flow, depth, and ownership.

Nevada has a similar interactive map, and other states are working on them, but Oregon was the first state to tap the National Geothermal Data System for its map, said Kim Patten of the Arizona Geological Survey, which is overseeing the national project, funded by $22 million in stimulus money.

Maria Richards, coordinator of the Southern Methodist University Geothermal Lab, said maps like this would help inform the public about the potential for geothermal energy where they live.

Ian Warren is chief geologist for U.S. Geothermal, Inc., which put Oregon's first commercial geothermal power plant online last November in Malheur County.

He has used the data that went into the map for years but needed special software to access it. He says the interactive map makes it possible for anyone to use it, and to see it in the context of a map, rather than spreadsheets.

"Definitely, I'll be using it in the future," he said. "This is the first pass you have to go through to start thinking about where the next good place is to find geothermal resources."

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Follow Jeff Barnard at http://twitter.com/JeffBarnardAP

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Online: Interactive geothermal map of Oregon, http://bit.ly/WjgFwi

Tracking map of data available state by state, http://bit.ly/YpiBBG

National Geothermal Data System, http://www.geothermaldata.org