Subsurface temperature from seismic reflection data: application to the post break up sequence offshore Namibia

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Arka Dyuti Sarkar , Mads Huuse


Accurate estimations of present-day subsurface temperatures are of critical importance to the energy industry, in particular with regards to geothermal energy and petroleum exploration. This paper uses seismic reflection observations of bottom-simulating reflections and subsurface velocities coupled with an empirical velocity to thermal conductivity transform to estimate subsurface temperature in a process dubbed reflection seismic thermometry. The case study is a frontier passive margin extending from the shelf edge to deep water in the central Lüderitz Basin, offshore Namibia. The bottom simulating reflector is used to derive surface heat flow. The thermal conductivity model was applied to seismic processing velocities to determine the subsurface thermal conductivity. Knowledge of surface heat flow and thermal conductivity structure allowed us to estimate subsurface temperatures across the study area. The results suggest the Lüderitz Basin has a working hydrocarbon system with the inferred Aptian Kudu source interval within the gas generation window.



Earth Sciences, Geology, Geophysics and Seismology


seismic, Seismic velocities, temperature, Basin modelling, Heat flow, passive margin


Published: 2021-11-05 14:11

Last Updated: 2021-11-05 14:11


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Data Availability (Reason not available):
Primary data used in this study was made available under restricted license to the authors by the data providers. Where publicly available data has been used in the study, a citation and link to the source location has been included.

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