Preparation of Maps Depicting Geothermal Gradient and Precambrian Structure in the Permian Basin

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2005

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The objectives of this project were to prepare maps depicting (1) the geothermal gradients, and (2) the structure on the top of the Precambrian in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico. Both were to be created and distributed in a spatially related Geographic Information System (GIS) project. The preparation of these maps involved two different sets of issues. Prior to this study, no publicly available, detailed map of Precambrian structure with referenced control points existed for the Permian Basin. This is in part a function of the sparsity of data (Precambrian well penetrations) and in part a function of the lack of interest in assembling such a map. Additionally, no digital, GIS-based map of Precambrian structure was previously available. To prepare this map over the entire area of interest, it was necessary to develop new creative approaches. By contrast, more than one map depicting geothermal gradient has been previously published. Additionally, relatively extensive data sets of bottom-hole well temperatures are available. The issues in preparing this map revolve around (1) deciding what data to use, (2) developing ways to deal with possible errors in the data, and (3) making proper corrections to the data.

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