Institute of Geophysics of the CAS, v. v. i.

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Geothermics

Department of Geothermics

The department deals with studies of thermal fields within the Earth. Information about temperature in the uppermost parts of the Earth (hundreds of metres up to several kilometres below its surface) is obtained by direct measurements in boreholes. Temperature estimate for greater depths is based on calculations for which it is necessary to assess heat generation within the Earth, thermal conductivity of rocks, long-term surface temperature and temperature increase with depth (a gradient) close to the surface. An important field of research is a determination of the past climate based on a temperature inversion of current deep-boreholes temperature logs. The department is equipped by (i) a portable thermometer for borehole temperature logging to the depth of 2 – 3 km, (ii) laboratory instruments for measurements of thermal conductivity and diffusivity and (iii) a gamma-spectrometer for determination of content of radioactive isotopes of Uranium, Thorium and Potassium in rocks as the radioactive decay is a main heat source within the Earth crust. The research is supported by  extended software packages for numerical solution of the heat transfer equation, temperature and heat production calculations as well as past climate determination. The department operates several field stations for long-term aquisition of experimental data.

Head of the department: RNDr. Jan Šafanda, CSc

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Field stations