Geothermal Gradient and the Heat Flow - Case Study

Published: 2021-07-09
983 words
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University of California, Santa Barbara
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The geothermal systems and behaviors, especially in the Western Canadian Sedimentary, get argued to be explored based on the temperatures noted from collected on wells. It gets claimed that the Canadian services also contributed to the study through the estimations of geological formations based on the average heat conductivity and the net rocks. The study portrays scholarly arguments of scholars that the heat flow and geological gradient within the basin get higher when compared with the extensive Precambrian platform areas. The Precambrian areas are those that relate to eons before the Phanerozoic.

The areas may also get described based on time and the geological functions which existed before the Phanerozoic (Keppie, 2). These areas include the North Western side of Prairies Basin majorly lying within Alberta, the British Columbia and finally the South Western area of Saskatchewan. It gets argued that the past few years got coupled with the recognition of the significance of terrestrial heat flow in the study and research of the tectonophysical problems. The depicted brought on board the sedimentary basins as a unique and significant factor in the heart flow studies based on their comparison of economic value to areas with the ability to produce geothermal energy.

Therefore, the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin gets recognized as a Precambrian area that covers the vast region between the shield of the Canadian on the Eastern side and the Cordillera of the West (Rathore and Raul, 4). Their appearance allows the soft dipping sedimentary rocks to pass through the folded strata of the belt distributed to the western side. Two great scholars Garland and Lennox mentioned the study of heart flow in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin based on the measurement of temperature and the heat conductivity of two holes that existed in the Redwater and the Leduc oil pools and even the pool that lies near the Norman Wells. The heat flow observed notes an average of at least 61, 67, and 83 mW m-2. The collection of data for the study depicts about 3000 temperature readings contained within the AAPG file. In many occasions, the data gives time after the circulation of mud filtrate and the determination of temperature observations from the bottom hole.

In support of the depicted, a graph of a lower portion hole temperature versus depth for a particular locality in central Alberta (51.5- 52N- 114 W) got plotted and expressed in degrees. It was only 25 percent of the data that got chosen after a careful selection drawn from the AAPG file. Further discussion notes a second generation based on the temperature data from the AAPG. The depicted got based on the worked surface ground temperature data. The portrayed led to the development of a contour map. Its data got derived from the Triassic, Mississippian among other related areas. The result proved that regional characteristic coincides and are equally areas of lower gradients. The depicted got expressed in the form of (VT < mK m-1).

The heat conductivity estimates also show a necessity of examining the relationship which exists between the vast variety of the geothermal gradient observed in the sedimentary basins based on the aspect of thermal conductivity and heat flow. The estimates note heat conductivity in the Prairies to be divided based on pre- Cretaceous and the Tertiary rocks. The Cretaceous rocks also got depicted to exist, but their expression assumes lower values of heat temperatures. Equally notable, heat flow relates very closely to its generation. The pictured gives birth to the term heat flow provinces which expound on the linear relationship that exists between the flow of heat flow and its production. The result of the study depicted steady heat flow especially in areas of continental regions. Lastly, the report also features the relationship between the heat flow and ground water flow. One Hitchon gets argued to mention significant groundwater areas such as the Foothills Belt and even the Cypress to show potentiality of allowing heat flow (Toth and Elemer, 3).

In consideration of the report and the study, I concur that it accomplished its goals. The depicted got drawn from the procedural relationship the study drew from the surface temperature and geological gradient to heat generation. It went further to the relationship between heat flow and the ground water flow among other key areas covered in the report and the supported graphical explanations included in the case files. My major learning areas from the survey got founded on the various relationship heat flow assume with other factors like the ground water flow among others. I also learnt about the variation of heat generation getting based on the potentiality of region with the keynote getting based on the continental areas like the Eastern part of the United States. The primary sources of error got based on the study getting limited to few areas hence not giving a clear global view of the heat flow. For example, it majored on the central and northern part of the Prairies Basin. I would, therefore, act differently by including a vast region when conducting the study and also as a way of correcting the errors.


In summary, it gets realized that the geothermal gradient and the heat flow depicts higher temperatures and gets compared to the Precambrian platform regions. Equally important, low heat flow and the geothermal gradient got realized in South Eastern side of Alberta and even the Peace River area that lay within the British Columbia. Lastly, the analysis of the coal metamorphism also brought on board the suggestion of pre- Laramide heat flow and distribution on various foothills.

Works Cited

Keppie, D F. The Analysis of Diffuse Triple Junction Zones in Plate Tectonics and the Pirate Model of Western Caribbean Tectonics. , 2014. Internet resource.

Rathore, M, and Raul R. Kapono. Engineering Heat Transfer. Sudbury, Mass: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011. Print.

Toth, Aniko, and Elemer Book. Flow and Heat Transfer in Geothermal Systems: Basic Equations for Describing and Modeling Geothermal Phenomena and Technologies. , 2017. Internet resource.


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