Effects of Near-Surface Air Temperature on Sub-Surface Geothermal Gradient and Heat Flow in Bornu-Chad Basin, Nigeria

  • Andrew A. Tyoh Department of Physics, Nasarawa State University, PMB 1022< Keffi, Nigeria.
  • Etim Daniel Uko Rivers State University, Port Harcourt
  • Olatunji S. Ayanninuola Department of Physics, Nasarawa State University, PMB 1022< Keffi, Nigeria.
  • Onengiyeofori A. Davies Department of Physics, Rivers State University, PMB 5080, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Keywords: Geothermal gradient, Heatflow, Bottom-hole-temperature, Bornu-Chad basin, Nigeria


A study of the effect of near-surface temperature on fields of subsurface geothermal gradient and heat flow has been carried out in the Bornu-Chad Basin, Nigeria, using corrected Bottom-Hole Temperatures (BHTc) lithologic-log data from 9 oil wells. The geothermal gradient using only BHTs ranges from 15.9oCkm-1 to 38.2oCkm-1 with an average of 26.9+/-3.5oCkm-1, while that computed with mean annual temperature and BHTs ranges from 28.2oCkm-1 to 51.5oCkm-1with an average of 37.5+/-2.5oCkm-1. The geothermal gradient using the mean annual temperature and BHTs in the Bornu-Chad is higher than using only BHTs by 7.0oCkm-1. Heatflow ranges from a minimum of 61 mWm-2 to a maximum of 114mWm-2 with an average of 68+/-5.89mWm-2. The isotherm maps exhibit an increasing SW-NE trend. An average heat flow of 68+/-5.9mWm-2 deduced from Bornu-Chad basin is normal for a continental passive margin with age of about 100My. Geothermal gradient results show a distinct and direct relationship with near-surface conditions. There are indications that surface heat flow is controlled by lithology, geothermal gradient and near-surface solar radiation conditions in the Bornu-Chad basin. Consequently, it is recommended that the mean surface temperature be used in geothermal gradients and heatflows estimations. The knowledge of geothermal properties is very important in the search for geothermal energy in the area of study.