Paper No. 7-3
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
THE REDWALL FAULT: A PLUMBING SYSTEM FOR THERMAL SPRINGS IN SOUTHEASTERN BRITISH COLUMBIA
Geothermal energy in Canada is a largely unexploited resource with tremendous potential in the western provinces. Localities with high heat flow and deep circulation of meteoric waters that are quickly mobilized back to the surface are essential for Canada’s geothermal potential, as well as the discovery of epithermal mineral deposits. Understanding the controls, distribution, and longevity of natural hot springs is a necessity in the exploration of future sustainable energy resources. Radium, Fairmont, and Lussier hot springs along with several other thermal springs parallel the western margin of the NW-SE trending Redwall Fault, suggesting that the Redwall Fault constrains the plumbing system for these thermal springs. The Redwall Fault has zones of extensive breccia which formed the permeable conduits for meteoric water circulation. Areas adjacent to the fault show consistent fractures and smaller normal faults providing increased wall rock permeability necessary for easy fluid flow and secondary mineralization. Concentrated hydrothermal fluid pathways show complete recrystallization of veins and additional sulphide precipitation. Improved understanding of plumbing systems such as the Redwall Fault will assist in improving our comprehension of possible geothermal energy producing systems.