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Scientific article
English

Geothermal state of the deep Western Alpine Molasse Basin, France-Switzerland

Published inGeothermics, vol. 67, p. 48-65
Publication date2017
Abstract

Over the last few years the Western Alpine Molasse Basin (WAMB) has been attracting large institutional,industrial and scientific interest to evaluate the feasibility of geothermal energy production. However,the thermal state of the basin, which is instrumental to the development of such geothermal projects,has remained to date poorly known. Here, we compile and correct temperature measurements (mostly bottom hole temperature) from 26 existing well data mostly acquired during former hydrocarbon exploration in the basin. These data suggest that the average geothermal gradient of the WAMB is around25–30◦C/km. We further use these data to build the first well data-driven 3D geostatistical temperature model of the whole basin and generate probabilistic maps of isotherms at 70 and 140◦C. This model highlights a number of positive and negative thermal anomalies that are interpreted in the con-text of heat advection caused by fluid circulation along faults and/or karst systems. This study confirms that the WAMB has a great potential for low-enthalpy geothermal resources and presents a typology of advection-dominated potential targets.

Funding
  • Autre - Geothermie 2020
Citation (ISO format)
CHELLE-MICHOU, Cyril et al. Geothermal state of the deep Western Alpine Molasse Basin, France-Switzerland. In: Geothermics, 2017, vol. 67, p. 48–65. doi: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2017.01.004
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ISSN of the journal0375-6505
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