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Hydrologic investigations in the Mammoth Corridor, Yellowstone National Park and vicinity, U.S.A

Michael, L.S.; Elizabeth, M.C.

Geothermics 26(2): 221-249

1997


ISSN/ISBN: 0375-6505
DOI: 10.1016/s0375-6505(96)00041-7
Accession: 019164350

The Mammoth Corridor in and adjacent to Yellowstone National Park encompasses a N-S alignment of geothermal features that extends from the Norris Geyser Basin adjacent to the Yellowstone caldera through Mammoth Hot Springs to the Corwin Springs Known Geothermal Resources Area (KGRA). Thermal springs in this region discharge water that ranges from NaKCl, silica-depositing type to CaNaHC03SO4, travertine-depositing type. Although only a few relatively shallow wells have been drilled in the corridor, the region is of special interest because of the environmental issues associated with potential geothermal development adjacent to Yellowstone National Park. The U.S. Geological Survey conducted an intensive hydrogeologic study of this region during 1988–1990 and continued to collect hydrologic and geophysical data until 1994. The results of these investigations document the rates of discharge of thermal water and heat within the corridor, evidence for a magmatic heat source beneath the Mammoth Hot Springs area, and evidence for separate geothermal systems associated with Mammoth Hot Springs and with thermal waters discharging in the KGRA in the vicinity of La Duke Hot Springs. These investigations also indicate that limited development of the 70°C geothermal resource in the La Duke area would not affect thermal springs in Yellowstone National Park.

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