Thermal Conductivity and Radiogenic Heat Production of Sedimentary and Magmatic Rocks in the Northeast German Basin

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Journal Article: Thermal Conductivity and Radiogenic Heat Production of Sedimentary and Magmatic Rocks in the Northeast German Basin

Abstract

Thermal rock properties were determined for the Northeast German Basin, a subbasin of the southern Permian basin in Europe. The new thermal data provide new aspects for the determination of heat flow and for hydrocarbon and geothermal resource evaluation in the basin. Thermal conductivity was measured on drill-core samples using the optical scanning method. Values for Permian and pre-Permian clastic rocks are variable (2.3–4.8 W/m/K) because of different depositional environments, compaction, and cementation reflected in lithology. Permian–Carboniferous igneous rocks show lowest thermal conductivity in basalts (2.2 W/m/K) and highest (3.1 W/m/K) in granitoids. Anisotropy of thermal conductivity in all rocks is low. Formation thermal conductivity was determined by upscaling the values determined for single lithotypes. Radiogenic heat production was determined on drill cores for the upper Paleozoic sediments and igneous rocks. For the younger formations without sample control, a well-log approach was used. The heat production of sedimentary rocks is lowest (0.4 μW/m3) in the Permian (Zechstein) salt and anhydrite and highest (2.1 μW/m3) in the Permian (Rotliegende) clastic rocks. Heat production of the Permian–Carboniferous rhyolites and granitoids is on the order of 2.6–3.8 μW/m3, and heat production of andesites and basaltoids is on the order of 0.9–1.9 and 0.1–0.7 μW/m3, respectively. The contribution to surface heat flow by these up to 2-km (1.2-mi)-thick igneous complexes amounts to 7 mW/m2 at a maximum. On the same order is the total heat budget provided by the supra-Permian sedimentary succession in the basin.

Ben Norden received a degree in geology (diploma) from the University of Hamburg in 1999. Since 2000, he has worked at the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam. He received a master's degree in engineering from the University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, in 2003 and a Ph.D. in geosciences from the Freie Universität, Berlin, in 2004. Norden is currently working on a CO2 storage project. His research interests include heat flow and fluid flow.

Andrea Förster is a staff scientist at the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Germany. She received a diploma degree in geology, a Ph.D., and a Habilitation degree from the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität, Greifswald, Germany. Her current research involves the analysis of the earth thermal field, the determination of heat flow, and explorational aspects of applied geothermics. She is also engaged in research focused on the storage of carbon dioxide in saline aquifers.

Authors 
B. Norden and A. Förster








Published Journal 
AAPG Bulletin, 2006





DOI 
10.1306/01250605100

Online 
Internet link for Thermal Conductivity and Radiogenic Heat Production of Sedimentary and Magmatic Rocks in the Northeast German Basin

Citation

B. Norden, A. Förster. 2006. Thermal Conductivity and Radiogenic Heat Production of Sedimentary and Magmatic Rocks in the Northeast German Basin. AAPG Bulletin. 90(6):939-962.