Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Updated three-dimensional temperature maps for the Great Basin, USA

February 29, 2024

As part of the periodic update of the geothermal energy assessments for the USA (e.g., last update by Williams and others, 2008), a new three-dimensional temperature map has been constructed for the Great Basin, USA. Williams and DeAngelo (2011) identified uncertainty in estimates of conductive heat flow near land surface as the largest contributor to uncertainty in previously published temperature maps. The new temperature maps incorporate new conductive heat flow estimates developed by DeAngelo and others (2023). Predicted temperatures at depth are compared with representative measurements (for conductively dominated conditions), showing good agreement under relatively simple uniform conditions. Inputs included radiogenic heat production for all layers of 1.89 μW/m3, effective bulk thermal conductivity of 2.7 W/m/°C for all rocks underlying sedimentary basins, and a previously published (Williams and DeAngelo, 2011) empirically driven estimate of increasing thermal conductivity with depth in sedimentary sequences. The resulting three-dimensional temperature model is published in a USGS data release associated with this manuscript (Burns and others, 2023).

Publication Year 2024
Title Updated three-dimensional temperature maps for the Great Basin, USA
Authors Erick Burns, Jacob DeAngelo, Colin F. Williams
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70252068
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center