Geothermal Potential (heat flow) map of the USA

Google Earth file that shows the geothermal potential across the US.  Students can visualize the heat flux across the US at different depths using the slider that is usually used for historical imagery.  Move the slider and notice what happens.  I use this to get the students to recognize the following:

  • How active tectonics and volcanism is producing more heat flux in the western US.  
  • The high heat flux across the Basin & Range province.
  • The high heat flux across the Rio Grande Rift.
  • The unusually high heat flux under the Valles Caldera and the Yellowstone hotspot.
  • The low heat flux of the Colorado Plateau as it resists tectonic activity
  • The abrupt change in heat flux as one moves from the coastal ranges to the Cascade Range.

KML file for Google Earth:  Geothermal-Potential

Example JPG map of heat flow at 7.5km:  geothermal

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