Paper No. 7-2
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
ENCASING NATURE: A CLASSIFICATION OF HYDROTHERMAL DEPOSITS IN FAIRMONT HOT SPRINGS, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Canada currently produces no electricity from geothermal sources (Grasby et al., 2012). Geothermal energy is the alternative green energy source with the lowest foot print. Natural hot springs, such as Fairmont Hot Springs in southeastern British Columbia, provide one possible target for geothermal energy exploration. It is critical to completely characterize these unique ecosystems before exploitation is considered. The carbonate mound at Fairmont Hot Springs is a unique setting. A creek cuts north-south through the mound and four east-west roadcuts provide the ability to construct a 3-D model of the carbonate mound. Carbonate-saturated fluids precipitated micrite, calcite, and aragonite in dendritic or radiating patterns from plant and rock fragments. Leaf, needle, and branch fragments dominate the mound with minor snail shell fragments. The Fairmont Resort currently uses geothermal energy to directly heat the pool decks and shower water; the possibility of producing electricity using geothermal energy from pool run off has been explored.