Porosity and Mineralogy Control on the Thermal Properties of Sediments in Off-Shimokita Deep-Water Coal Bed Basin
Abstract:Heat transport properties such as thermal conductivity, heat capacity, and thermal diffusivity are significant parameters that influence on geothermal process in sedimentary basins at depth. We measured the thermal properties of sediment core samples at off-Shimokita basin obtained from the IODP Expedition 337 and Expedition CK06-06 in D/V Chikyu shakedown cruise. Overall, thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity increased with depth and heat capacity decreased with depth, although the data was highly scattered at the depth of approximately 2000 meters below sea floor, where coal-layers were formed. The increase of thermal conductivity is mainly explained by the porosity reduction of sediment by the consolidation during sedimentation. The highly variation of the thermal conductivity at the same core section is probably caused by the various lithological rocks formed at the same section. Coal shows the lowest thermal conductivity of 0.4 Wm-1K-1, and the calcite cemented sandstone/siltstone shows highest conductivity around 3 Wm-1K-1. The thermal diffusivity and heat capacity are influenced by the porosity and lithological contrast as well. The relationship between thermal conductivity and porosity in this site is well explained by the mixed-law model of Maxwell or geometric mean.
One dimensional temperature-depth profile at Site C0020 in Expedition 337 estimated from measured physical properties and radiative heat production data shows regression of thermal gradient with depth. Surface heat flow value was evaluated as 29~30 mWm-2, and the value is consistent with the heat flow data near this site. Our results suggest that increase of thermal conductivity with depth significantly controls on temperature profile at depth of basin. If we assume constant thermal conductivity or constant geothermal gradient, we might overestimate temperature at depth, which might cause big error to predict the heat transport or hydrocarbon formation in deepwater sedimentary basins.