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Thermophysical properties of surficial rocks: a tool to characterize geothermal resources of remote northern regions.

Miranda, Mafalda Alexandra, Giordano, Nicolo, Raymond, Jasmin ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7486-9185, Pereira, Alcides J.S.C. et Dezayes, Chrystel (2020). Thermophysical properties of surficial rocks: a tool to characterize geothermal resources of remote northern regions. Geothermal Energy , vol. 8 , nº 1. p. 4. DOI: 10.1186/s40517-020-0159-y.

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Résumé

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 base-case 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.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: deep geothermal energy; Nunavik; steady-state temperature distribution; temperature field
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 08 mars 2021 20:17
Dernière modification: 15 févr. 2022 21:32
URI: https://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/11398

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