Working groups


Most of the work of the IHFC is performed by its working groups. These are organized by one or a group of speakers. Members and speakers of these working groups need not necessarily be members of the IHFC. Please do not hesitate to contact the speakers in case of questions or suggestions.

The current working groups and their speakers are:

Global Heat Flow Database

Speaker: Sven Fuchs

The working group "Heat Flow Database" defines structure and quality criteria of the Global Heat Flow Database and takes care to include new data into the database.

Recent activities:

  • Splinter meeting during the EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 17 April 2024
  • Workshop on heat flow in Antarctica (2 days, July 2023)
  • Workshop on heat flow in Africa, South America and South Atlantic Ocean (2 days, July 2023)
  • New quality scheme published (July 2023)
  • Database release 2023 (January 2023)
  • Workshop on in-depth evaluation, development and discussion of criteria for determination, documentation, data-banking, and quality assessment of heat-flow data during the Cermak7 (7th International Meeting on Heat Flow and the Geothermal Field Potsdam), Germany, 20.06.-22.06.2022
  • Collaborative development of a new quality scheme for the global heat flow database database.
  • Database release 2021 (April 2021)
  • Collaborative development of the new database structure. Digital kick-off workshop (14th May 2020, minutes)
  • Online questionnaire (May 2020): What are your past experiences with the database and your expectation for a new heat-flow data portal?

Previous speakers: David S. Chapman (1983-1987), Henry N. Pollack (1987-1991), Eckardt Hurtig (1991-1994), Daniel Pribnow (1994-2000), Will Gosnold (2000-2019)

Borehole Temperature and Paleoclimate

Speaker: Ben Norden

The working group « Borehole Temperature and Paleoclimate » is newly formed in 2023. In this working group of the IHFC we try to understand the thermal impact on the subsurface temperature distribution of interactions at the lithosphere, cryosphere, and atmosphere interfaces over time to reveal and constrain past climatic conditions. For this purpose, high-quality continuous temperature data from boreholes are needed. Based on our experiences in the development of the new standards and their implementation for the IHFC Global Heat Flow Database, we are in the process of collecting and re-evaluating accessible subsurface temperature data worldwide. Our overall goal is to provide high quality data sets with continuous temperature and thermal diffusivity profiles along with clearly defined meta-data fields to enable in-depth evaluation for climatic studies on different scales. Along with temperature, the data set should include information on the lithology, stratigraphy, and thermal properties of the drilled succession based on an adequate resolution and made available as open-access publications. If you are interested to join the ongoing discussions or would like to apply with your data set to the « Global Borehole Temperature Database for Paleoclimate Studies » please get in touch with us!

Previous speakers: Shaopeng Huang (2000-2023 Borehole Temperature Database)

Thermal Properties

Speaker: Petr Dedecek

follows soon

Previous speakers: Yuri Popov (2000-2023)

Marine Heat Flow

Speaker: Jeffrey Poort

The working group « Marine heat flow »is new since 2023. The primary focus is to identify the scientific problems that can be addressed by the acquisition of shallow sub-seafloor thermal gradients and thermal conductivity data, collectively used to quantify conductive heat flow. However, the group will address the full scope of problems and techniques in data acquisition as well as the nuances in understanding the processes that involve the quantification of energy and fluid fluxes, again requiring knowledge of the thermal state deduced from observations that include heat flow, sub-bottom temperature, and thermophysical rock and fluid properties. The renaissance of interest in marine heat flow mirrors the shift to multidisciplinary approaches to science problems in the wider community, such as the recent focus on using heat transport as a tracer of other processes. We identified three major questions the marine working group should focus on:

  1. What are the fundamental science questions to be addressed using marine heat flow data (among other information and methods) in the next decades?
  2. Which technical capabilities will be required to address these questions, and how can these capabilities be developed and sustained to assure access to critical instrumentation at reasonable cost?
  3. Can Heat Flow become an ocean variable in the short term? How important is heat flow as one of the ocean variables crucial for understanding and monitoring various aspects of the Earth's climate system, weather patterns, marine ecosystems, and natural resource management?

The working group aims to encourage discussion and strengthen communication in the marine heat flow community sub group. This includes Identifying all actors of the marine heat flow community (scientists, engineers, companies) and motivating an active participation in the IHFC activities (meetings, summer schools, data review).

Recent activities:

  • 3-day workshop on essential ocean variables (19-21 April 2024, Vienna, Austria, 10 attendees)

Applied Geothermics

Speaker: Graeme Beardsmore

The Applied Geothermics working group delivers guidelines, recommendations and training for the application of heat flow concepts and practices to the exploration, characterization, and production of earth resources. It serves as a point of contact and communication between the IHFC and individuals and groups from various resource sectors.

Education and Dissemination (preliminary)

Speaker: Florian Neumann

The working group "Education and Dissemination" is developing heatflow.X, a program framework to create and bundle several IHFC science and outreach activities related to heat-flow research. The program aims at developing organizational structures, specific methods, and tools to effectively support the heat-flow community with transferable knowledge.

Recent activities:

  • 3rd Global Heat Flow Day (1 day, February 2024)
  • heat flow summer school (5 days, July 2023)
  • heat flow workshop Africa, South Atlantic, South and Latin America (2 days, July 2023)
  • heat flow workshop on Antarctica (2 days, July 2023)
  • 2nd Global Heat Flow Day (1 day, February 2023)
  • 1st Global Heat Flow Day (1 day, February 2022)
  • Previous speakers: Sven Fuchs (2022-2023, interim)