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Environmental Science/Underground temp assesment


What are the methods to determine underground temperatures up to depths of 20m? The reason for asking is we want to implement a ground resource heat pump but would like to determine the annual temperature profile underground in relation to various depths. Are there any reference material available to point us in the right direction?

Thank you for your time, it is truly appreciated.


Depending on where you live, there may be government websites that provide this sort of information for your area. In many places, well drillers are supposed to record the temperature of the water and submit that to the government as part of the well record. If you'd like to give me an idea of your general location I may be able to give some specific resources.

For the purposes of a geothermal installation, maps showing typical average groundwater temperatures (i.e. ground temperatures) for your area should be sufficient information. In most places, once you are a few metres deep the temperature should be relatively constant year round and likely decreases very little with depth. Usually, it's not until you get to depths of hundreds of metres that the "geothermal gradient" becomes a significant factor.

On the other hand, if you want to measure the temperatures directly at different depths over time, you would install a series of thermistors in a borehole and use a datalogger to record the measurements. In practice, this is usually done in combination with measuring pressures. The sensors can either be installed by drilling a borehole or using "direct-push" technology.  

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Dylan Luhowy


I can answer questions about groundwater contamination and monitoring, stormwater management, environmental assessment, landfill sites, nuclear waste management, geology, and the nuclear fuel cycle. I have knowledge and experience with the management of nuclear waste, but I can't answer specific questions about the operation of nuclear power plants.


I have 10 years experience in groundwater monitoring, landfill operation, nuclear waste management, sedimentary geology, stormwater management, environmental sampling, and environment, health, safety and quality managemnet. I've been a co-author and presenter for numerous papers in the fields of geology and nuclear waste management at international conferences.

Licensed professional engineer in the province of Ontario.

B.A.Sc. Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo, 2001.

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