Natural Resources Research

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 95–108 | Cite as

Estimation of Shallow Geothermal Energy Resource in Canada: Heat Gain and Heat Sink

  • Jacek MajorowiczEmail author
  • Stephen E. Grasby
  • Walter R. Skinner


Maps of shallow depth (down to −250 m) temperature distribution across Canada show large variability, related mainly to surface climatic forcing. Very small changes of temperature with depth in the upper 250 m are related to heat gained by the subsurface due to recent global warming. Temperature data compiled from precise temperature logs in equilibrium wells, and temperature time series from a network of meteorological stations, allow calculation of the available heat energy for heating in the cold period and for cooling in peak warm months. Utilization of this energy resource has the potential for significant CO2 reduction in Canada. The geothermal energy stored in the ground can be used, with the help of heat pumps, for heating, given very low winter temperatures. The amount of potential heat available is vast. In Canada, south of permafrost border, the integrated value of potentially available heat during the heating season down to −50 m is 1.1 E21 J (1100 quads).


Geothermal energy Canadian geothermal heat pumps heat flow climate change mitigation 



The authors thank Dr. Alan Jessop, Dr. Zhuocheng Chen, and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments. The work has been supported by Environment Canada and Geological Survey of Canada Contribution No. 20080659.


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Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geology 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacek Majorowicz
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Stephen E. Grasby
    • 3
  • Walter R. Skinner
    • 4
  1. 1.NGCEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Geology and Geological EngineeringUniversity of North DakotaGrand ForksUSA
  3. 3.Geological Survey of CanadaCalgaryCanada
  4. 4.Environment CanadaTorontoCanada

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