Hydrothermal simulations are used to provide insight into the subsurface thermal regime of the Perth metropolitan area (PMA) in Western Australia. High average permeabilities and estimated fluid flow rates in shallow aquifers of the PMA suggest that advection and convection may occur in these aquifers. These processes are simulated, using a new geological model of the PMA to constrain the geometry of aquifers, aquitards and faults. The results show that advection has a strong influence on subsurface temperature, especially in the north of the PMA, where aquifer recharge creates an area of anomalously low temperature. Convection may be important, depending on the permeability of the Yarragadee Aquifer. If convection occurs, it creates thermal highs and lows with a spacing of approximately 5 km. Some of these thermal anomalies migrate over geological time due to coupling between advection and convection, but they are stationary on human timescales. Fault permeability influences the pattern of convection. Advection and convection cause variations in the geothermal gradient which cannot be predicted by conductive models; therefore, these processes should be considered in any model that is used for assessment of geothermal resources in the PMA.
- Numerical modelling
- Perth Basin