About Us

With roots in the Heat Flow Department, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and the former Gulf Research and Development Co., our personnel and consulting associates have produced numerous technical and professional publications and we are responsible for obtaining the first reliable heat flow measurements in several regions including the Barents Sea, the Chukchi Sea, and the continental margins off Norway, Angola, Brunei, and East Malaysia. We were the prime contractor to Gulf Oil Corp. for collection of the Gulf of Mexico ELVA BRUCE I & II data sets that have played a major role in launching the US Global Basins Research Network.

We produced the first industry (Gulf Research) supported marine heat flow data set (published, 600 sites in 4 weeks of operation in the Gulf of Mexico), (with SINTEF/IKU and Fugro) the first industry group supported shallow geotechnical marine heat flow measurements (Zielinski et al., 1986), the first (Ritter et al., 2004) and second (first TDI-BI) industry group supported marine heat flow data sets (159 sites in 2 weeks and 154 sites in 3.5 weeks), and (with SGS/Fugro-Geolab Nor) the first industry survey to achieve 1:1 heat flow and surface geochemical data coverage (Zielinski et al., 2007), 186 sites in 2 weeks for both data sets).  We repeated this accomplishment at 173 new sites offshore East Malaysia. 

For marine measurements we employ the Ewing technique (Langseth, 1965), whereby thermistors and digital thermograd data recorders are attached to any sediment corer and laboratory grade thermal conductivity measurements are made to any resolution on resulting sediment cores, the same used for geochemical analyses. Our measurements have been tested at published measurement sites and at deep well sites. Our methods account for the vast majority of the global marine heat flow database and our thermal conductivity method of choice is the documented gold standard for unconsolidated sediments.

Published terrestrial measurements range from ultra shallow (<2 meter deep) relative heat flow measurements performed in the hydrocarbon producing province of Tierra del Fuego (Zielinski and Bruchhausen, 1983) to shallow borehole and seismic shot hole measurements <100 meters deep.  The latter include measurements relating to Tertiary mineralization in southern New Mexico (Zielinski and DeCoursey, 1983), hydrothermics in the Wyoming Overthrust Belt (Zielinski et al., 1985), and hydrothermics in the Nevada Basin and Range province (Zielinski et al., in preparation).  In addition to the hydrological/fluid migration application, all of these studies reveal variations in parameters of the seasonal fluctuations of ground surface temperatures such as amplitude, phase, and mean annual temperatures, which relate to climate, weather, topography, and ground cover.  This aspect of shallow land-based measurements has not yet been exploited.   

Collaboration with the Polish Geological Institute (Warsaw, Poland) has resulted in assessment of the thermal effects of Zechstein salt and the Early to Middle Jurassic hydrothermal event in the central Polish Basin (Zielinski et al., 2012).  Focus of this work is on factors that can effect preservation of methane in reservoirs at depths in excess of 6 km.  Results may significantly impact European deep natural gas exploration.

Our staff member is on the advisory panel to the New Hampshire (USA) State Geologist currently assessing New Hampshire's geothermal energy potential.  Our engineering experience includes the Apollo Lunar Heat Flow Program and in 2010 we received a commendation from NASA.