Results from a magnetotelluric survey

Results from a magnetotelluric survey conducted in New Mexico show geothermal water in red. The red area at the top of the image indicates near-surface geothermal water mixed with surface water. The red cone-shaped area at the bottom shows the deep geothermal reservoir that feeds the near-surface water.

Mt. Princeton Geothermal, LLC, has commissioned a magnetotelluric survey to be conducted by Dewhurst Group, LLC, in December in the Chalk Creek area.

A public meeting to discuss the survey and surface measurements is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 30 in the Sangre De Cristo Electric Association community room, 29780 N. U.S. 24 in Buena Vista.

The purpose of the survey is to verify the existence of a deep, highly conductive geothermal water reservoir similar to the one shown in the accompanying image from New Mexico.

The survey consists of 125-150 noninvasive surface measurements of deep natural electrical currents in the earth. Measurements require two 1-meter-long magnetic sensors laid on the ground and four probes positioned in the ground at depths less than 1 foot.

Magnetotelluric measurements require 2-12 hours to complete and can provide geological data to depths of 5,000 feet.

Successful verification of a viable geothermal reservoir will facilitate additional testing in 2012.

A similar survey is being considered by the City of Salida for the Poncha Springs area and may be discussed at the Dec. 6 city council meeting.

For additional information contact Fred Henderson, chief scientist with Mt. Princeton Geothermal, at 395-0440 or

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