Digging deeper: the influence of historical mining on Glasgow's subsurface thermal state to inform geothermal research

Sean M. Watson, Rob Westaway, Neil M. Burnside

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Studies of the former NE England coalfield in Tyneside demonstrated that heat flow perturbations in boreholes were due to the entrainment and lateral dispersion of heat from deeper in the subsurface through flooded mine workings. This work assesses the influence of historical mining on geothermal observations across Greater Glasgow. The regional heat flow for Glasgow is 60 mW m−2 and, after correction for palaeoclimate, is estimated as c. 80 mW m−2. An example of reduced heat flow above mine workings is observed at Hallside (c. 10 km SE of Glasgow), where the heat flow through a 352 m deep borehole is c. 14 mW m−2. Similarly, the heat flow across the 199 m deep GGC01 borehole in the Glasgow Geothermal Energy Research Field Site is c. 44 mW m−2. The differences between these values and the expected regional heat flow suggest a significant component of horizontal heat flow into surrounding flooded mine workings. This deduction also influences the quantification of deeper geothermal resources, as extrapolation of the temperature gradient above mine workings would underestimate the temperature at depth. Future projects should consider the influence of historical mining on heat flow when temperature datasets such as these are used in the design of geothermal developments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-123
Number of pages17
JournalScottish Journal of Geology
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • boreholes
  • mine workings
  • heat flow
  • historical mining sites

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