--> ABSTRACT: Heat Flow in Oklahoma, by Constantin Cranganu and David Deming; #91019 (1996)

Datapages, Inc.Print this page

Heat Flow in Oklahoma

Constantin Cranganu and David Deming

Oklahoma is one area in which terrestrial heat flow data are sparse. The thermal state of the southern mid-continent, however, is a key to understanding several important geologic problems. These include thermal anomalies associated with Paleozoic fluid migrations and the formation of Mississippi Valley-type lead-zinc deposits, the thermal evolution of the Arkoma and Anadarko sedimentary basins, and the history of hydrocarbon generation and overpressuring in the Anadarko Basin.

In the late 1920s, the American Petroleum Institute made a set of equilibrium temperature logs in idle oil wells. These temperature data are generally regarded as being high quality, accurate estimates of rock temperature and they cover the entire central part of Oklahoma. Average thermal gradients in the API survey range from 14 to 43 °C/km (average 31.2 °C/km) over depth intervals that extend from the surface to a an average depth of 961 m. Geothermal gradients decrease from NNE to SSW. The observed change in thermal gradients could be due to a number of factors. The change in thermal gradients could simply reflect changes in lithology and thermal conductivity. Alternatively, the variation in thermal gradients could be indicative of a change in heat flow related perhaps to variations in the concentration of radioactive heat-producing elements in the crust or heat transport by one or more regional groundwater flow systems. We are proceeding to reduce ambiguity in interpretation by estimating heat flow from thermal conductivity measurements on drill cuttings and heat production from available gamma-ray logs which penetrate basement rocks.

AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California