Kazan Federal University

First ever 3D geothermal model of the Volga-Ural region unveiled by Kazanian geophysicists

Germany’s Kiel University is a partner in the project.

“First, we built maps of thermal parameters for the Volga-Ural region using our available data on the thermal conductivity of the Earth’s crust and mantle, the radioactivity of the Earth’s crust, as well as data on the mantle earth flow. These maps allowed us to calculate the temperature of the Earth’s crust at any point and create, using mathematical methods, a three-dimensional model of temperature distribution in the crust of the Volga-Ural region,” explains Senior Lecturer, Lab Engineer of the Laboratory of Oil and Gas Basins Igor Ognev.

The authors posit that hydrocarbon depositing in the Volga-Ural region is inextricably linked with heat fields. Large deposits are usually found in warmer zones.

“While constructing the geothermal model, we found heat anomalies – places of elevated crust temperature. One such zone in the eastern part of the Volga region is the location of Romashkino oilfield. As was found out, there is a significant ratio of radioactive aluminous shales here,” continues Ognev. “Our model can shed light on the history of depositing in the Volga-Ural province and help direct efforts towards new deposits.”

More temperature data is needed to build such maps for other regions of Russia.

The interviewee concludes, “There has been a sizable effort in the Volga-Ural region in the last decades to measure temperatures in oil wells, so there is a good database. The late Professor Natalya Khristoforova of Kazan University made a huge contribution to this work in the 1990s. So, albeit not physically present, she became a co-author of our model.”

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