Functional Representation Of Regional Heat Flow In South America Implications For The Occurrence Of Low-Temperature Geothermal Resources

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Conference Paper: Functional Representation Of Regional Heat Flow In South America Implications For The Occurrence Of Low-Temperature Geothermal Resources

Abstract
Energy, mineral and hydrocarbon exploration programs carried out over the last decade have contributed to significant improvements in understanding the geothermal characteristics of South America (Barberi et al, 1987). Compilation of this information, which include estimates of geothermal gradients and heat flow as well as complementary data on thermal fluid discharges at the surface, is useful for delineating regional trends of thermal regimes of several tectonic provinces. However, there has been only a few attempts to evaluate the significance of such observations on a continental scale. Lack of understanding of regional geothermal fields has been an obstacle in establishing exploration strategies for development of geothermal resources in South America. Hamza and Munoz (1996) presented manual and automatic contour maps of heat flow of the South American continent. Nevertheless, few efforts have so far been made in obtaining functional representations of regional heat flow fields and to investigate its relevance for exploration of geothermal resources. In the present work, numerical and polynomial representations of regional heat flow fields of the South American continent have been attempted. A convenient database has been setup for this purpose, which is frequently updated with new heat flow values acquired over the last decade in several parts of the continent. In addition, a careful re evaluation of the data reported in earlier compilations has been carried out. The regions for which new geothermal data are available include several areas in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Paraguay. Comparison with previous compilations indicates that there has been some improvements in data quality. It is worth noting that results obtained by conventional methods constitute a significant part of the data set in the central and eastern parts of the continent, while estimates based on complementary geological and geo chemical data are still necessary for mapping thermal regimes of southwestern and northern parts of the Andean region. The geographic distribution, however, continues to be nonuniform, there being several tectonic units for which hardly any geothermal data are available.

Authors 
V. M. Hamza and F. J. S. Silva Dias








Published 
GRC, 2003





DOI 
Not Provided
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Citation

V. M. Hamza,F. J. S. Silva Dias. 2003. Functional Representation Of Regional Heat Flow In South America Implications For The Occurrence Of Low-Temperature Geothermal Resources. In: (!) ; (!) ; (!) . (!) : GRC; p. (!)