pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 140, Issue 4, pp 655–666 | Cite as

Climate change inferred from analysis of borehole temperatures: First results from Alberta Basin, Canada

  • Jacek A. Majorowicz


High quality temperature measurements have been made to depths of 30 to 220 m at 42 sites in 62 observational hydrogeological wells in Alberta. The temperature profiles commonly show near-surface inversions with a minimum temperature at depths of 30 to 50 m. Thermal modelling suggests a surface temperature history with warming reaching 2°C over the past 30 to 60 years. Recent climate warming evident from the analysis of the air temperature data in the region seems to provide at least a partial explanation of the increased ground temperatures. A sudden increase of the surface ground temperature caused by land clearing may be the other explanation, although modelling of such a sudden increase can only explain the observed temperature-depth data if the onset of such warming is 20–30 years old, which is in disagreement with the history of land development in the studied area. The effect of near-surface inversions of the temperature profiles also has been observed in the forested areas. The above support the climate based effect. The superposition of the climatic effect and man-made activity effect upon the ground warming is a very complicated process calling for considerably more research.

Key words

Climate change ground temperature earth's heat flow 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacek A. Majorowicz
    • 1
  1. 1.Northern Geothermal ConsultantsEdmontonCanada

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