pISSN 0705-3797 eISSN 2586-1298
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Episodes 2023; 46(4): 611-621

Published online December 1, 2023


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

The additional acceleration of geothermal water flow in the discharge section by the geothermal driving force

Hua Wang1, Liang Feng2*, Yuwei Shao2, Tong Zhao2, Cuiming Li2, Zide Shi2

1 School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Xihua University, Chengdu 610031, China
2 School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China

Correspondence to:*E-mail: fengliang@cug.edu.cn

Received: November 9, 2022; Revised: April 3, 2023; Accepted: April 3, 2023

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The rise of geothermal water level can be observed in the discharge section in a convective hydrothermal system. It is hard to explain in terms of gravity-driven groundwater systems, suggesting the existence of an additional driving force. This geothermal driving force is closely related to the changes in density, salinity, and viscosity caused by the increase in groundwater temperature. It is significant to quantitatively characterize the geothermal driving force for the interpretation of geothermal water level and flow. A case study is carried out in a convective geothermal system in Huangshadong, South China. The recharged groundwater migrated to a position with an average depth of 2.09 km and was heated to 100-130℃. The geothermal driving force produced by the increase in temperature and in salinity is +125.33m and −2.62 m, respectively. The actual pressure head produced by the geothermal driving force is +122.71 m. The migration speed of geothermal water under the action of geothermal driving force from the heating position to the discharge area increased from 2.14×10-3 m/d to 3.09×10-3 m/d. The results indicate the presence of a geothermal driving force accelerates the groundwater migration in the discharge section of convective hydrothermal system.