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In situ investigations of thermal conductivity, heat production, and past hydrothermal circulation in the Cajon Pass Scientific Drillhole, California

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Abstract

Wireline logs from the Cajon Pass drillhole provide observations of crustal properties and processes near the San Andreas fault. Mineralogical profiles developed from geochemical logs are combined with a technique for calculating thermal conductivity from the volume fractions of component minerals. Variations in the equilibrium temperature gradient correlate with conductivity contrasts, and thus with lithology, rather than with fluid circulation. K, U, and Th contents calculated from gamma spectroscopy logs yield heat production values which range from 1.3 to 2.4 µW/m³, averaging 1.8 µW/m³ in the section from 500 to 1800 m. Evidence for depletion of U relative to Th raises the possibility of extensive fluid circulation in the past. However, discontinuity of depletion across faults suggests that the fluid regime responsible for U depletion predated San Andreas faulting.

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Ancillary