The conductivitites of selected gneiss (two) and amphibolite (one) core samples have been measured under conditions of elevated temperature and pressure with a needle-probe. Water-saturated thermal conductivity measurements spanning temperatures from 25 to 300??C and hydrostatic pressures of 0.1 and 34 MPa confirm the general decrease in conductivity with increasing temperature but deviate significantly from results reported from measurements on dry samples over the same temperature range. The thermal conductivity of water-saturated amphibolite decreases with temperature at a rate approximately 40% less than the rate for dry amphibolite, and the conductivity of water-saturated gneiss decreases at a rate approximately 20% less than the rate for dry gneiss. The available evidence points to thermal cracking as the primary cause of the more rapid decrease in dry thermal conductivity with temperature. The effects of thermal cracking were also observed in the water-saturated samples but resulted in a net decrease in room-temperature conductivity of less than 3%. These results highlight the importance of duplicating in-situ conditions when determining thermal conductivity for the deep crust.
Additional publication details
Thermal conductivity of water-saturated rocks from the KTB pilot hole at temperatures of 25 to 300°C