Geothermal Map of North America

The Geothermal Map of North America is a heat flow map depicting the natural heat loss from the interior of Earth to the surface.  Calculation of the heat flow values requires knowledge of both the temperature gradient at a location and the thermal properties of the rocks in which the gradient is measured.


The first Geothermal Map of North America was prepared by Dr. Dave Blackwell and John Steele in late 1980’s and published in 1992 by the Geological Society of America (GSA) in conjunction with the GSA sponsored Decade of North American Geology. 
Citation: Blackwell, D. D., and J. L. Steele, DNAG Geothermal Map of North America, scale 1:5,000,000, Geological Society of America, 1992. 


Dr. Blackwell, working with Geothermal Lab staff and graduate students, prepared an updated version of the Geothermal Map of North America which was published by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) in 2004.
Citation: Blackwell, D.D., and M. Richards, Geothermal Map of North America, AAPG Map, scale 1:6,500,000, Product Code 423, 2004.


Supported by, the SMU Geothermal Laboratory and Dr. Blackwell completed a third generation heat flow map of the continental U.S in 2011.  Copyright VA 2-076-818.
Citation: Blackwell, David, M. Richards, Z. Frone, J. Batir, A. Ruzo, R. Dingwall, and M. Williams 2011, Temperature at depth maps for the conterminous US and geothermal resource estimates, GRC Transactions, 35 (GRC1029452).


In 2013, the SMU Geothermal Laboratory completed an updated surface heat flow map of Alaska. Joe Batir published a paper on this research.
Citation: Batir, J. F., Blackwell, D. D., & Richards, M. C. (2013). Updated surface heat flow map of Alaska. GRC Transactions, 37 (GRC1030682).


Data used to generate these maps are available in the National Geothermal Data System (NGDS).  

Related References

AAPG, American Association of Petroleum Geologist, CSDE, COSUNA, and Geothermal Survey Data_Rom, 1994. 

Blackwell, D.D. and Maria Richards, Calibration of the AAPG Geothermal Survey of North America BHT Data Base, AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX, Poster session, paper 87616, 2004. 

Blackwell, D.D., J.L. Steele and L.S. Carter, Heat flow patterns of the North American continent: A discussion of the DNAG Geothermal Map of North America, pp. 423-437, in D.B. Slemmons, E.R. Engdahl, and D.D. Blackwell eds., Neotectonics of North America, Geological Society of America. DNAG Decade Map Volume 1, pp. 498, 1991. 

Harrison, W.E., K.V. Luza, M.L Prater, and P.K. Chueng, Geothermal resource assessment of Oklahoma, Special Publication 83-1, Oklahoma Geological Survey, 1983.