We have developed a borehole methodology to estimate formation thermal conductivity in situ with a spatial resolution of one meter. In parallel with a fiber-optic distributed temperature sensor (DTS), a resistance heater is deployed to create a controlled thermal perturbation. The transient thermal data is inverted to estimate the formation's thermal conductivity. We refer to this instrumentation as a Distributed Thermal Perturbation Sensor (DTPS), given the distributed nature of the DTS measurement technology. The DTPS was deployed in permafrost at the High Lake Project Site (67°22′N, 110°50′W), Nunavut, Canada. Based on DTPS data, a thermal conductivity profile was estimated along the length of a wellbore. Using the thermal conductivity profile, the baseline geothermal profile was then inverted to estimate a ground surface temperature history (GSTH) for the High Lake region. The GSTH exhibits a 100-year long warming trend, with a presentday ground surface temperature increase of 3.0 ± 0.8°C over the long-term average.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Earth and Planetary Sciences