Method for estimating the depth of circulation of thermal and non-thermal waters in the upper crust

  • Carlos Alexandrino Universityof Vale de Jequitinhonha (UFVJM)
  • Fábio Pinto Vieira National Observatory (ON)
  • Valiya M. Hamza National Observatory (ON)
Keywords: Depth of circulation, Darcy velocity, Péclet number.


In this work we consider model formulations that allow better understandings of the relations between Darcy velocity and temperatures in coupled two-dimensional systems. The revised theoretical formulations are capable of accounting for the effects of heat transfer by fluid movements in horizontal and vertical directions. The models have been found useful in estimating the maximum and minimum depths of thermal and non-thermal waters in several geological units in Brazil. The best fitting values encountered are 1.8 to 2.7 km for the Paraná basin, 2.0 to 2.8 km for the Parnaiba basin, 1.6 to 2.3 km for the Amazon basins, 2.0 to 2.7 km for the San Francisco Province, 1.9 to 2.4 km for the Sergipe-Alagoas basins and 2.0 to 2.8 km for the Borborema Province. The models have also allowed estimation the average values of Péclet number and Darcy velocity for groundwater flows in these units. Note that higher horizontal velocities are associated with smaller depths of circulation. This is a natural consequence of the fact that in systems where horizontal velocities are high the quantities of vertical flows are less intense.