Global Database of Borehole Temperatures and Climate Reconstructions
This project has as its goal the design, assembly, analysis and
interpretation of geothermal observations on continents relevant to
understanding the nature and causes of climate change over the past five
centuries. The project was inititated by the Geothermal Laboratory
of the University of Michigan, USA.
Important collaborations have been developed with the
Geophysical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences,
and with a working group of the
International Heat Flow Commission of
IASPEI. Funding for this project has come from the
U.S. National Science Foundation,
the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, the Intenational Geological Correlation Program,
Czech - U.S. Science and Technology Program. The
principal components of the database are:
Suggested citations for this database are:
- Basic geothermal observations from field surveys and laboratory
measurements, principally comprising borehole temperature logs and
thermophysical properties. This section includes data only from boreholes
at least 200 m deep. The data listed are restricted to the range 20-600
meters. Data above 20 m have been omitted because they include annual
variability, and data below 600 m have not been included because they
contain no information about the past 500 years. Quality control measures
have occasionally required the deletion of other data within the 20-600 m
- A five-century ground surface temperature history derived for each site
by a standardized inversion procedure operating on the basic observations.
The derived history is presented as century-long temperature trends for
each of the past five centuries. This representation emphasizes longer
term variations of the climate history, and thus is complementary to high
resolution proxies such as tree rings, ice cores, corals and lake
- The name of the person who can be contacted to learn more about the
data and the site. This is either the name of the original investigator
who made the observations, or the name of a regional or national data
compiler. Some data remain proprietary, and therefore are not
accessible directly from this database. Database users desiring access to
these data should request the data directly from the person listed as the
data contact. A list of investigators engaged in climate studies involving
geothermal data can be found at the
original web site of this database at the University of Michigan.
- Huang, S., Pollack, H. N., and Shen, P.Y., 2000. Temperature trends over
the past five centuries reconstructed from borehole temperatures.
Nature, 403: 756-758.
- Pollack, H.N., Huang, S., and Shen, P.Y., 1998. Climate Change Record in
Subsurface Temperatures A Global Perspective. Science, 282 279-281.
- Huang, S. and Pollack, H.N., 1998, Global Borehole Temperature Database
for Climate Reconstruction. IGBP PAGES/World Data Center-A for
Paleoclimatology Data Contribution Series #1998-044.
NOAA/NGDC Paleoclimatology Program, Boulder CO, USA.
Back to Borehole Temperatures and Climate Reconstruction Homepage