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Geothermal Resources in New Mexico


New Mexico is blessed with several low-temperature (100-190°F) geothermal systems. A few hot springs in the Jemez Mountains are associated with cooling magma beneath the southwest margin of the Valles Caldera. Most of the hot springs in our state lie in or near the Rio Grande rift. Water falling as precipitation on the mountain ranges bordering the rift percolates to depths of 3-5 km and is heated by elevated rift-related heat flow. The heated fluids are then discharged as springs in the vicinity of rift-related faults or at intersections of multiple generations of geologic structures.

Commercial uses of geothermal waters in New Mexico include heating of buildings and greenhouses and aquaculture (fish farms). Spas and bath houses are economically important tourist destinations in Truth or Consequences and at Ojo Caliente.

Geothermal Program manager: Shari Kelley.