Heat Flow At Standard Depth

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Journal Article: Heat Flow At Standard Depth

Secular and long-term periodic changes in surface temperature cause perturbations to the geothermal gradient which may be significant to depths of at least 1000 m, and major corrections are required to determine absolute values of heat flow from the Earth's interior. However, detailed climatic models remain contentious and estimates of error in geothermal gradients differ widely. Consequently, regions of anomalous heat flow which could contain geothermal resources may be more easily resolved by measuring relative values at a standard depth (e.g. 100 m) so that all data are subject to similar corrections. Regional heat flow data obtained in existing deep holes show reasonable correlation with values determined at shallow depth. Hence geothermal resources of low enthalpy can be characterised by extrapolating temperatures from relative heat flow data readily obtained from shallow boreholes. Regional control can be provided by casing deep boreholes drilled for other purposes. For routine geothermal exploration, borehole temperatures can be measured using gradient probes with fixed sensor separation (e.g. 5 m), allowing very accurate determinations of the geothermal gradient at a single depth. Values of relative heat flow can then be obtained after determining the thermal resistivity of the corresponding core interval. Sampling errors can be minimised by multiple determinations of thermal conductivity over the complete interval.

J. P. Cull

Published Journal 
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 1981

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J. P. Cull. 1981. Heat Flow At Standard Depth. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. (!) .

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