New geothermal results released

21 July 2011

A field crew retrieves heat flow
information from a drill hole.
© Geoscience Australia

Explorers and researchers will have access to additional data to help improve the understanding of Australia's geothermal resources following the release of two reports on heat flow determinations. Information in the reports is based on newly acquired data from petroleum and mineral boreholes across the country.

As part of the Australian Government's Onshore Energy Security Program, Geoscience Australia used specially designed equipment to collect temperature measurements from almost 170 drill holes. Scientists also obtained thermal conductivity measurements of core samples taken from some of these holes.

The Chief of the Onshore Energy and Minerals Division, Dr James Johnson, said the two new reports include temperature, natural gamma and thermal conductivity data for 30 boreholes from all mainland States and the Northern Territory, bringing the total number of heat flow determinations published under the Onshore Energy Security Program to 41.

Dr Johnson said that the temperature was recorded at 20 centimetre intervals down each hole and drill core samples were measured for thermal conductivity.

"New conductive heat flow models produced for the areas in which there is pre-exiting data are consistent with the previous work," Dr Johnson said.

"This pre-competitive data is making a significant contribution to developing a comprehensive understanding of the heat flow coverage of Australia and further field work will be carried out to fill existing gaps and expand the spatial distribution of heat flow determinations across the country," he said.

"This data will improve the understanding of the thermal structure of the Australian continent and will be used to generate geothermal models and geothermal energy prospectivity analyses in the future," Dr Johnson said.

Further information is available in Heat Flow Determinations for the Australian Continent: Release 2 and in Heat Flow Determinations for the Australian Continent: Release 3

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013