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Energies 2014, 7(4), 2573-2594; doi:10.3390/en7042573
Article

Implications of Spatial Variability in Heat Flow for Geothermal Resource Evaluation in Large Foreland Basins: The Case of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin

1,*  and 2
Received: 13 February 2014; in revised form: 28 March 2014 / Accepted: 10 April 2014 / Published: 22 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geothermal Energy: Delivering on the Global Potential)
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Abstract: Heat flow and geothermal gradient of the sedimentary succession of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) are mapped based on a large thermal database. Heat flow in the deep part of the basin varies from 30 mW/m2 in the south to high 100 mW/m2 in the north. As permeable strata are required for a successful geothermal application, the most important aquifers are discussed and evaluated. Regional temperature distribution within different aquifers is mapped for the first time, enabling a delineation of the most promising areas based on thermal field and aquifer properties. Results of previous regional studies on the geothermal potential of the WCSB are newly evaluated and discussed. In parts of the WCSB temperatures as high as 100–210 °C exist at depths of 3–5 km. Fluids from deep aquifers in these “hot” regions of the WCSB could be used in geothermal power plants to produce electricity. The geothermal resources of the shallower parts of the WCSB (>2 km) could be used for warm water provision (>50 °C) or district heating (>70 °C) in urban areas.
Keywords: geothermal energy; Canadian geothermal energy; Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB); heat flow; Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS); thermal conductivity; geostatistics; exploration; energy; heat; renewable geothermal energy; Canadian geothermal energy; Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB); heat flow; Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS); thermal conductivity; geostatistics; exploration; energy; heat; renewable
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Weides, S.; Majorowicz, J. Implications of Spatial Variability in Heat Flow for Geothermal Resource Evaluation in Large Foreland Basins: The Case of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. Energies 2014, 7, 2573-2594.

AMA Style

Weides S, Majorowicz J. Implications of Spatial Variability in Heat Flow for Geothermal Resource Evaluation in Large Foreland Basins: The Case of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. Energies. 2014; 7(4):2573-2594.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Weides, Simon; Majorowicz, Jacek. 2014. "Implications of Spatial Variability in Heat Flow for Geothermal Resource Evaluation in Large Foreland Basins: The Case of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin." Energies 7, no. 4: 2573-2594.


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