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Subsurface temperatures and geothermal gradients on the north slope of Alaska

Cold Regions Science and Technology

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Abstract

On the North Slope of Alaska, geothermal gradient data are available from high-resolution, equilibrated well-bore surveys and from estimates based on well-log identification of the base of ice-bearing permafrost. A total of 46 North Slope wells, considered to be in or near thermal equilibrium, have been surveyed with high-resolution temperatures devices and geothermal gradients can be interpreted directly from these recorded temperature profiles. To augment the limited North Slope temperature data base, a new method of evaluating local geothermal gradients has been developed. In this method, a series of well-log picks for the base of the ice-bearing permafrost from 102 wells have been used, along with regional temperature constants derived from the high-resolution stabilized well-bore temperature surveys, to project geothermal gradients. Geothermal gradients calculated from the high-resolution temperature surveys generally agree with those projected from known ice-bearing permafrost depths over most of the North Slope. Values in the ice-bearing permafrost range from ??? 1.5??C 100 m in the Prudhoe Bay area to ??? 4.5??C 100 m in the east-central portion of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. Geothermal gradients below the ice-bearing permafrost sequence range from ??? 1.6??C 100 m to ??? 5.2??C 100 m. ?? 1993.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Subsurface temperatures and geothermal gradients on the north slope of Alaska
Series title:
Cold Regions Science and Technology
Volume
21
Issue:
3
Year Published:
1993
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
275
Last page:
293
Number of Pages:
19