Thermal springs in the southeastern Canadian Cordillera occur in association with several major fault zones, which may permit deep circulation of fluid through fractured reservoirs to depths greater than 2 km. Both the current stress field and the most recent kinematics of these faults likely play a significant role in localizing hydrothermal upwellings but are poorly resolved. In this paper, we present new data from structural mapping along the Columbia River, Slocan Lake, Purcell Trench, Southern Rocky Mountain Trench, and Redwall faults. Fault plane and slickenfiber orientations measured in the field indicate a previously unidentified, post-Eocene phase of dextral strike-slip kinematics on these faults, which have historically been mapped primarily as Eocene extensional structures. The NE–SW maximum principal stress required for these kinematics shares a similar orientation to the present-day stress field derived from crustal earthquake focal mechanisms, which suggests dextral slip may be a recent and ongoing development that continues at the present time. On a regional scale, there is a positive correlation between the locations of springs and regions with elevated seismicity. At the local scale, geothermal upwellings may be controlled by local zones of enhanced permeability including fault intersections and strain-transfer zones. The identification of favorable structural settings may enable discovery of hidden (a.k.a. blind) geothermal energy resources.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.