Measured data of the Earth’s surface heat flow are rare observables for heat transport processes in the Earth interior. Precise knowledge of heat flow is thus fundamental (i) to describe the Earth’s thermal field, (ii) to decipher plate-tectonic and geodynamic processes and (iii) to understand natural or artificial utilized geological thermal systems – across all spatial scales and timely domains. Heat flow data are documented in more than 1,400 publications and are collected by the International Heat Flow Commission (IHFC) of the IASPEI/IUGG for almost 60 years now. The quality of the data compilation is heterogeneous and reflects the long history of technical and methodological developments during that period. The associated databases on national and international level are in general of undocumented quality and poor usability.
Here, we present a community driven-approach to develop a new, sustainable heat-flow research data infrastructure with quality proofed, up-to-date, well-documented, extended, enriched and restructured heat-flow data for the geoscientific community. The new database will reflect criteria of FAIR and OPEN data policy, will support the interoperability with other geoscientific data services, and will interconnect to persistent identifiers. To fill the new database with curated quality-proven heat-flow data, the available reconnaissance data are currently reviewed by global heat-flow experts in a unique international collaborative revision approach supported by the IHFC and lead by a Task Force of the International Lithosphere Program (ILP).