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Thermal conductivity, thermal gradient, and heat-flow estimations for the Smackover Formation, southwest Arkansas

Lea M. Nondorf
Thermal conductivity, thermal gradient, and heat-flow estimations for the Smackover Formation, southwest Arkansas (in Geothermal energy; an important resource, Carolyn B. Dowling (editor), Klaus Neumann (editor) and Lee J. Florea (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (2016) 519: 95-114

Abstract

Subsurface thermal conductivity, thermal gradient, and heat flow are significant parameters when determining the feasibility of utilizing a geologic unit to generate industrial geothermal power. Cores from 18 wells of the subsurface Jurassic Smackover Formation in southwest Arkansas were analyzed at the Arkansas Geological Survey, where thermal conductivity, thermal gradient, and heat-flow values were estimated. Thermal conductivity of several samples was obtained using a KD2 Pro Thermal Analyzer at room temperature. Thermal gradients were estimated from Smackover Formation borehole temperatures, and heat-flow values were calculated from thermal conductivity and thermal gradient values. Average thermal conductivity values for the Smackover Formation are greatest in northeastern Lafayette County at 2.57 W/m.K, followed by southern Columbia and western Calhoun Counties at 2.47 W/m.K each. Northwestern Columbia and northeastern Lafayette Counties exhibit the highest thermal gradient and heat flow, with values averaging 3.51 degrees C/100 m and 72.3 mW/m (super 2) , respectively. Interpretation of these parameters confirms that this area exhibits the highest geothermal potential for the Smackover Formation in southwest Arkansas. Investigations further characterizing the Smackover Formation, including in situ thermal properties and borehole temperature measurements, are recommended for future geothermal feasibility studies.


ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Coden: GSAPAZ
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 519
Title: Thermal conductivity, thermal gradient, and heat-flow estimations for the Smackover Formation, southwest Arkansas
Title: Geothermal energy; an important resource
Author(s): Nondorf, Lea M.
Author(s): Dowling, Carolyn B.editor
Author(s): Neumann, Klauseditor
Author(s): Florea, Lee J.editor
Affiliation: Arkansas Geological Survey, Little Rock, AR, United States
Affiliation: Ball State University, Department of Geological Sciences, Muncie, IN, United States
Pages: 95-114
Published: 2016
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 25
Accession Number: 2016-087138
Categories: Economic geology, geology of energy sources
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., 4 tables, geol. sketch maps
N33°01'60" - N33°27'00", W93°52'00" - W93°22'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201643
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