Research Spotlight: Studying heat transport in geological environments


  • Leslie Ofori,

  • Ernie Tretkoff


Environmental and industrial applications such as oil drilling, geothermal engineering, and radioactive waste storage rely on knowledge of heat transport through geological environments. It is often assumed that heat transfer is governed by a simple equation known as the Fourier transport equation, but there is evidence that heat flow in some media is in fact non-Fourier.

To explore the issue, Geiger and Emmanuel conducted simulations of heat flow in geologically realistic fractured porous domains. They found that heat transport in a well-connected fracture network is governed by the Fourier transport equation.