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Twelve chemical geothermometers based on the concentrations of silica and proportions of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium in water from hot springs and geothermal wells are used successfully to estimate the subsurface temperatures of the reservoir rocks. These twelve geothermometers together with a new geothermometer based on the concentrations of lithium and sodium were used to estimate the subsurface temperatures of more than 200 formation-water samples from about 40 oil and gas fields in coastal Texas and Louisiana and the Central Valley, California. The samples were obtained from reservoir rocks ranging in depth from less than 1,000 m to about 5,600 m.
Quartz, Na-K-Ca-Mg, and Na-Li geothermometers give concordant subsurface temperatures that are within 10°C of the measured values for reservoir temperatures higher than about 75°C. Na-Li, chalcedony, and a modified Na-K geothermometers give the best results for reservoir temperatures between 40°C to 75°C. Subsurface temperatures higher than about 75°C calculated by chemical geothermometers are at least as reliable as those obtained by conventional methods. Chemical and conventional methods should be used where reliable temperature data are required.
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