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Title: Thermophysical properties of surficial rocks: a tool to characterize geothermal resources of remote northern regions
Authors: Miranda, M. M.
Giordano, N.
Raymond, J.
Pereira, A. J. S. C. 
Dezayes, C.
Keywords: Steady-state temperature distribution; Temperature field; Deep geothermal energy; Nunavik
Issue Date: 2020
Project: Institut Nordique du Québec (INQ) through the Chaire de recherche sur le potential géothermique du Nord 
Centre d’études nordiques (CEN), supported by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – nature et technologies (FRQNT) 
Observatoire Homme Milieu Nunavik (OHMI) 
Serial title, monograph or event: Geothermal Energy
Volume: 8
Issue: 1
Abstract: The energetic framework of Canadian remote communities relies on fossil fuels. This has adverse environmental and energy security issues. In order to offset diesel consumption, the search for local, sustainable and carbon-free energy sources is of utmost importance. Unfortunately, in such remote regions, subsurface data to evaluate the geothermal potential is often nonexistent. This raises a key question: how to characterize geothermal resources associated to petrothermal systems based on surface data? Answering this question is the purpose of this work highlighting how outcrops can be used as deep subsurface analogues. The variability induced by laboratory methods to characterize thermophysical properties is further evaluated in the estimation of the present-day temperature at depth. The community of Kuujjuaq, Canada, is used as an example where guidelines are defined to evaluate the steady-state geotherm. Rock samples were collected and analyzed with a guarded heat flow meter and an optical scanner to determine thermal conductivity. Radiogenic elements concentration was evaluated with gamma-ray and mass spectrometry. 2D temperature models were built taking into account the regional geology and the results obtained from the different laboratory methods. A base-case temperature of 57–88 °C at 5 km is predicted below Kuujjuaq. This range is based on different methods used to evaluate both thermal conductivity and internal heat generation. The work conducted in Kuujjuaq shows that the combination of gamma-ray spectrometry and optical scanning gives lower basecase temperature predictions when compared to mass spectrometry combined with the guarded heat flow meter. Despite the nonexistence of deep temperature measurements in northern regions, the assessment of thermophysical properties from outcrops is shown to be a useful tool for a preliminary assessment of geothermal resources in remote areas facing critical energy issues.
ISSN: 2195-9706
DOI: 10.1186/s40517-020-0159-y
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CGUC - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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