Characteristics and Classification of the Geothermal Gradient in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei Plain, China

Abstract

Study of the characteristics and classification of geothermal gradients can effectively guide the exploration and development of geothermal resources. In this paper, we systematically compare the relationship between the distribution of the geothermal gradient and its basin structure, and numerically model the heat conduction course of typical geothermal–geological profiles. The results show that the distribution of the geothermal gradient in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei Plain exhibits the characteristics of east–west zonation, north–south segmentation, and vertical stratification. From west to east, the basin structure can be divided into five belts, viz. the western sag, the central bulge, the eastern sag, the Cangxian uplift, and the Cangdong sag belts. The heat flow and the geothermal gradient of the cap rocks in the basal bulge/uplift belts are higher than in the sag belts. From north to south, the basin structure of the Jizhong depression is subdivided into the northern, middle, and southern segments by the Xushui-Anxin and Hengshui Faults. It also shows an obvious distribution of low and high geothermal gradient interphases, which are similar to their upper and lower basement. Vertically, the geothermal gradient in the bulge/uplift belts exhibits an asymmetrical “mirror reflection” structure. Abnormal geothermal gradient distributions are observed, being confined to the basement uplift belts caused by the tectonic movement which led to the heterogeneity of the horizontal and vertical heat conduction capacity. Therefore, according to the corresponding relationship between the amplitude of the basement uplifting and the size of the geothermal gradient of the cap rock, the geothermal gradient of the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei Plain can be divided into five categories, of high convex, convex, low convex, deep buried, and exposed types. Among these, the high convex and convex types are the primary targets for geothermal exploration and development.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the Sinopec research funding for projects (JP14009, JKL18033, JKL18035). The authors would also like to thank Dr. Jinxia Liu, Dr. Zongying Zhou, Dr. Shaoqiang Sui, and Dr. Lu Ji for their support in finishing this study.

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Correspondence to Xiang Mao.

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Wang, X., Mao, X., Mao, X. et al. Characteristics and Classification of the Geothermal Gradient in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei Plain, China. Math Geosci 52, 783–800 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11004-019-09814-8

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Keywords

  • Geothermal gradient
  • Numerical modeling
  • Geothermal reservoir type
  • The Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei Plain