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Geochemistry and geochronology of the Precambrian Basement Domains in the Vicinity of Fort McMurray, Alberta: A Geothermal Perspective

  • Author / Creator
    Walsh, Nathaniel J
  • The geochemistry and geochronology of the Precambrian basement in the vicinity of Fort McMurray was investigated to evaluate the feasibility of geothermal heat production. The basement is composed of older (1.95-1.98 Ga) and younger (1.92-1.94 Ga) granitoids suites of the Taltson Magmatic Zone that have intruded the 2.25 to 2.40 Ga gneisses and amphibolites of Taltson Basement Complex. Thermal conductivities (TC) calculated for 35 samples yielded an average of 3.1±0.43 W/m K. Average radiogenic heat production (RHP) of the same samples is 2.9±2.8 μW/m3. Geothermal modeling using these values indicates that at 5 km depth, a one standard deviation shift in TC changes temperature by only ~25 °C. However, a one standard deviation shift in RHP at the same depth changes temperature by ~70 °C. The feasibility of using geothermal heat in oil sands processing will depend on RHP values in the crustal column near oil sands processing site.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2013-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3ZG71
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Chacko, Thomas (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Heaman, Larry (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences)
    • Unsworth, Martyn (Physics)