Exploration operations means any activity relating to the search for evidence of geothermal resources, where you are physically present on the land and your activities may cause damage to those lands. Exploration operations include, but are not limited to, geophysical operations, drilling temperature gradient wells, drilling holes used for explosive charges for seismic exploration, core drilling or any other drilling method, provided the well is not used for geothermal resource production. It also includes related construction of roads and trails, and cross-country transit by vehicles over public land. Exploration operations do not include the direct testing of geothermal resources or the production or utilization of geothermal resources.
43 CFR § 3200.1
For purposes of this part and part 3280: