Heat Flow And Geothermal Potential In The South-Central United States

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Journal Article: Heat Flow And Geothermal Potential In The South-Central United States

Geothermal exploration is typically limited to high-grade hydrothermal reservoirs that are usually found in the western United States, yet large areas with subsurface temperatures above 150 deg. C at economic drilling depths can be found east of the Rocky Mountains. The object of this paper is to present new heat flow data and to evaluate the geothermal potential of Texas and adjacent areas. The new data show that, west of the Ouachita Thrust Belt, the heat flow values are lower than east of the fault zone. Basement heat flow values for the Palo Duro and Fort Worth Basins are below 50 mW/m² while, in the frontal zone of the belt, they can exceed 60 mW/m². Further east, along the Balcones fault system the heat flow is in general higher than 55 mW/m². The eastern most heat flow sites are in Louisiana and they show very high heat flow (over 80 mW/m²), which is associated with the apparently highly radioactive basement of the Sabine uplift. The geothermal resource in this area is large and diverse, and can be divided in high grade (temperature above 150 deg. C) convective systems, conductive based enhanced geothermal systems and geothermal/geopressured systems. One of the most attractive areas east of the cordillera extends from eastern Texas across Louisiana and Arkansas to western Mississippi. Here temperatures reach exploitation range at depths below 4 km, and tapping such a resource from shut in hydrocarbon fields is relatively easy. The initial costs of the development can be greatly reduced if existing hydrocarbon infrastructure is used, and therefore using shut-in hydrocarbon fields for geothermal purposes should not be

Petru T. Negraru, David. D. Blackwell and Kamil Erkan

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Publisher Not Provided, 2008

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Petru T. Negraru,David. D. Blackwell,Kamil Erkan. 2008. Heat Flow And Geothermal Potential In The South-Central United States. . (!) .

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  1. U.S. South Region
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