Exploration, utilization and monitoring of conventional and unconventional geothermal resources

With an increasing demand for low-carbon energy solutions, the need of geothermal resources utilization is accelerating. Geothermal energy can be extracted from various, often complex geological settings, e.g. fractured crystalline rock, magmatic systems or sedimentary basins. Current advancements also target unconventional systems (e.g., Enhanced Geothermal Systems, super-hot, pressurized and co-produced, super-critical systems) besides conventional hydrothermal systems. Optimizing investments leads to the development of associated resources such as lithium, rare earths and hydrogen. This requires a joint effort for monitoring, understanding and modelling geological systems that are specific to each resource.
A sustainable use of geothermal resources requires advanced understanding of the properties of the entire system during exploration as well as monitoring, including geophysical properties, thermo-/petro-physical conditions, fluid composition; structural and hydrological features; and engineering challenges. Challenges faced are, among others, exploration of blind systems, reservoir stimulation, induced seismicity or related to multiphase fluid and scaling processes.

The integration of analogue field studies with real-life production data, from industrial as well as research sites, and their organization and the combination with numerical models, are a hot topic worldwide. With this session we aim to gather field, laboratory and numerical experts who focus their research on geothermal sites, to stimulate discussion in this multi-disciplinary applied research field. We seek for contributions from all disciplines, ranging from field data acquirements and analysis to laboratory experiments, e.g. geophysical surveys or geochemical experiments, and from the management and organization of information to numerical models as well as from (hydro)geologists, geochemists, (geo)physicists, surface and subsurface engineers.

Convener: Maren BrehmeECSECS | Co-conveners: Marco CalòECSECS, Denise Degen, Jan Niederau, Anne PluymakersECSECS, Eugenio TrumpyECSECS
vPICO presentations
| Wed, 28 Apr, 09:00–12:30 (CEST)

vPICO presentations: Wed, 28 Apr

Chairpersons: Maren Brehme, Eugenio Trumpy, Anne Pluymakers
First Time Slot
Resource Assessment
Ionelia Panea, Carmen Gaina, Victor Mocanu, Ioan Munteanu, Lucian Petrescu, Liviu Matenco, Daniel Scradeanu, Florina Tuluca, Mihaela Scradeanu, Florin Nache, Alexandru Zlibut, Catalin-Florin Bouaru, Alexander Minakov, and Valentina Magni

Geothermal energy is known as a renewable source that has little effect on environment, since no burning process is involved in the producing of thermal and electric energy. Geothermal water is considered an environmentally friendly energy source which is valuable especially in polluted areas. Our study area, the Baia Mare region, is located in the northwestern part of Romania, a region known as one of the most polluted environment in Romania due to its long-lasting local mining and metallurgical activities. Additional quantities of CO2 emissions resulted from the use of various, relatively cheap, heating sources by the local population. The main goals of our study are to evaluate the subsurface geothermal potential of the Baia Mare area and to identify promising geothermal exploitation sites. Heat flow values in this area are among the highest in Romania. We therefore plan to combine geological, geophysical, geochemical and hydrogeological data (geo-data) in order to provide a geoscientific solution for increasing the geothermal energy production in this part of Romania. Our research program contains surface geological mapping, geophysical surveys (active and passive seismic, magnetic, magnetotelluric and geothermal), geochemical analysis, hydrogeological surveys, modeling of geo-data and joint interpretation of geo-data. An initial 3D geothermal model will be built using existent geo-data. This model will help us to identify subsurface structures which show high potential for geothermal exploration. Interpretation of existent active seismic data collected during previous hydrocarbon exploration will provide information about the subsurface structural geology. The results of the new interpretation will be compared and correlated with the existent geological maps and sections for the study area. The magnetic data available in the public domain will be used to identify subsurface igneous bodies. The temperature data available from previous measurements will be used to build temperature-versus-depth distributions. These results will be analysed within a larger geodynamic framework. A pilot site will be selected after the analysis of the initial 3D geothermal model on which we plan to collect and record new geo-data. Data processing, inversion and modeling will be performed in order to create the final geothermal model with locations of promising exploitation wells. 

How to cite: Panea, I., Gaina, C., Mocanu, V., Munteanu, I., Petrescu, L., Matenco, L., Scradeanu, D., Tuluca, F., Scradeanu, M., Nache, F., Zlibut, A., Bouaru, C.-F., Minakov, A., and Magni, V.: A multidisciplinary study for geothermal energy sources identification in the Baia Mare area (Romania), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-549,, 2021.

Asmita Maitra, Saibal Gupta, Anand Singh, and Tirumalesh Kessari

In the fast-growing economies around the world, the demand for energy as well as environmental concerns make geothermal energy a potential renewable energy source. Most geothermal provinces across the world have the capacity to generate enormous amounts of hydrothermal energy, and hot springs in these areas are generally associated with active volcanic or tectonic activity. With modern technical advancement, low enthalpy geothermal systems (< 100°C) are also being considered for geothermal energy production. In non-volcanic hot springs, the water temperature remains low compared to volcanic hot springs. We study two such hot springs located within Neoproterozoic granulites of the tectonically stable Eastern Ghats Belt (EGB) of the Indian shield. The source of heat for these amagmatic hot springs may either be deep-seated fracture zones, or alternative heat sources at shallow crustal levels. A combination of geological, geochemical, hydrological and geophysical techniques has been applied to characterize non-volcanic hot springs in India. The hot springs at Atri and Tarbalo are located to the south of the Mahanadi Shear Zone within the EGB. Penetrative granulite facies planar structural fabrics in rocks of the northern EGB are reoriented within an E-W striking, northerly dipping ductile shear zone that is subsequently dissected by WNW-ESE trending, sub-vertical pseudotachylite-bearing faults and fractures. Tube and dug wells around the shear zone yield both hot (~ 60°C) and cold (~ 28°C) water, sometimes spatially only 20 metres apart. Chemical analyses indicate both have distinct compositions, with hot waters rich in Na+, K+ and Cl- while cold-waters have higher Ca2+ and HCO3- concentration. Stable isotope analyses (δ2H and δ18O) of both waters indicate that both are meteoric in origin. Tritium (3H) and 14C analyses indicate that hot spring waters are much older than the non-thermal groundwater. The hot water is 17714 years old, while the non-thermal groundwater indicates modern day recharge. This suggests that both waters come from different reservoirs. VLF-electromagnetic studies indicate that water exists in isolated pockets beneath the crystalline country rocks, but also circulated through WNW-ESE trending fracture systems. Heat production studies reveal that the EGB is a high radiation zone, and some host rocks have exceptionally high heat producing element (HPE) concentrations (primarily thorium) within the minerals monazite and thorite. Hence, meteoric water is entrapped in those “perched aquifers” near HPE-rich pockets for a long duration and has sufficient time to undergo radiogenic heating, shielded from the non-thermal groundwater circulating within the fracture system. These isolated pockets act as sources for the hot springs,with HPE being the source of heat. The high HPE distribution in the crust resulting from Neoproterozoic geological events has, thus, elevated the present-day equilibrium geotherm in the EGB, forming sources for shallow-level, non-volcanic hot springs within a tectonically inactive terrane. Therefore, the hot springs in these regions, as well as the hot dry rocks of these areas can be considered as potential geothermal resources.

How to cite: Maitra, A., Gupta, S., Singh, A., and Kessari, T.: Geological, geochemical and geophysical studies on the non-volcanic hot springs, Atri and Tarbalo in the Indian shield: potential unconventional renewable energy sources, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2783,, 2021.

Ádám Tóth, Attila Galsa, and Judit Mádl-Szőnyi

Fluid, as an elemental component of a geothermal system, transports and distributes underground heat according to the topographic driving force within a groundwater basin. As the water table configuration has diverse and distinct forms in real-life basins, asymmetric hydraulic head variation may occur from basin to basin in accordance with real physiographic characteristics. Therefore, the effects of an asymmetric water table distribution in groundwater basins were investigated in several model sets with special emphasis on the temperature field and with the help of five response parameters: maximum temperature of outflowing water, average temperature, the portion of the thermal water reservoir, Péclet number and location and extent of thermal water discharge.

Our simulation results showed that in the absence of thermal springs, the extent of the thermal water reservoir might be larger and the temperatures might be higher. Sedimentary basin fill fosters the formation of heat accumulation under and within this unit. As a new “parameter” in the basin-scale groundwater and geothermal studies, basin asymmetry was introduced which has a critical role in discharge and accumulation patterns, thus it controls the location of basin parts bearing the highest geothermal potential. So if thermal water can reach the ground surface, the discharge might not take place exactly above the thermal water reservoir due to the asymmetric driving forces of groundwater flow. Furthermore, the extent and temperature of thermal water reservoirs are also influenced by local-scale anisotropy, heterogeneities, i.e. faults, fault zones and fractures, and, of course, basal heat flux.

Therefore, the application of asymmetric basin-scale models in preliminary geothermal potential assessment would be beneficial for understanding heat distribution. The results also have further implications on the identification of prospective areas and planning of shallow and deep geothermal energy utilization, the interplay between basin-parts and rejuvenation of geothermal resources.

This research is part of the ENeRAG project that has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 810980.

How to cite: Tóth, Á., Galsa, A., and Mádl-Szőnyi, J.: Regional groundwater flow conditions and preliminary geothermal potential in asymmetric basins, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8657,, 2021.

Andreas Grafe, Thomas Kempka, Michael Schneider, and Michael Kühn

The geothermal hot water reservoir underlying the coastal township of Waiwera, northern Auckland Region, New Zealand, has been commercially utilized since 1863. The reservoir is complex in nature, as it is controlled by several coupled processes, namely flow, heat transfer and species transport. At the base of the aquifer, geothermal water of around 50°C enters. Meanwhile, freshwater percolates from the west and saltwater penetrates from the sea in the east. Understanding of the system’s dynamics is vital, as decades of unregulated, excessive abstraction resulted in the loss of previously artesian conditions. To protect the reservoir and secure the livelihoods of businesses, a Water Management Plan by The Auckland Regional Council was declared in the 1980s [1]. In attempts to describe the complex dynamics of the reservoir system with the goal of supplementing sustainable decision-making, studies in the past decades have brought forth several predictive models [2]. These models ranged from being purely data driven statistical [3] to fully coupled process simulations [1].

Our objective was to improve upon previous numerical models by introducing an updated geological model, in which the findings of a recently undertaken field campaign were integrated [4]. A static 2D Model was firstly reconstructed and verified to earlier multivariate regression model results. Furthermore, the model was expanded spatially into the third dimension. In difference to previous models, the influence of basic geologic structures and the sea water level onto the geothermal system are accounted for. Notably, the orientation of dipped horizontal layers as well as major regional faults are implemented from updated field data [4]. Additionally, the model now includes the regional topography extracted from a digital elevation model and further combined with the coastal bathymetry. Parameters relating to the hydrogeological properties of the strata along with the thermophysical properties of water with respect to depth were applied. Lastly, the catchment area and water balance of the study region are considered.

The simulation results provide new insights on the geothermal reservoir’s natural state. Numerical simulations considering coupled fluid flow as well as heat and species transport have been carried out using the in-house TRANSport Simulation Environment [5], which has been previously verified against different density-driven flow benchmarks [1]. The revised geological model improves the agreement between observations and simulations in view of the timely and spatial development of water level, temperature and species concentrations, and thus enables more reliable predictions required for water management planning.

[1] Kühn M., Stöfen H. (2005):
      Hydrogeology Journal, 13, 606–626,

[2] Kühn M., Altmannsberger C. (2016):
      Energy Procedia, 97, 403-410,

[3] Kühn M., Schöne T. (2017):
      Energy Procedia, 125, 571-579,

[4] Präg M., Becker I., Hilgers C., Walter T.R., Kühn M. (2020):
      Advances in Geosciences, 54, 165-171,

[5] Kempka T. (2020):
      Adv. Geosci., 54, 67–77,

How to cite: Grafe, A., Kempka, T., Schneider, M., and Kühn, M.: Revised hydrogeological model of the hydrothermal system Waiwera (New Zealand), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12196,, 2021.

Johanna Fink and Ralf Seidler

Drilling boreholes during exploration and development of geothermal reservoirs not only involves high cost, but also bears significant risks of failure. In geothermal reservoir engineering, techniques of optimal experimental design (OED) have the potential to improve the decision making process. Previous publications explained the formulation and implementation of this mathematical optimization problem and demonstrated its feasibility for finding borehole locations in two- and three-dimensional reservoir models that minimize the uncertainty of estimating hydraulic permeability of a model unit from temperature measurements. Subsequently, minimizing the uncertainty of the parameter estimation results in a more reliable parametrization of the reservoir simulation, improving the overall process in geothermal reservoir engineering.

Various OED techniques are implemented in the Environment for Combining Optimization and Simulation Software (EFCOSS). To address problems arising from geothermal modeling, this software framework links mathematical optimization software with SHEMAT-Suite, a geothermal simulation code for fluid flow and heat transport through porous media. This contribution shows how to determine experimental conditions such that the uncertainty when estimating different parameters of model units from temperature measurements in the borehole is minimized. Numerical simulations of synthetic geothermal reservoir scenarios are presented to demonstrate the OED workflow and its applicability to geothermal reservoir modeling

How to cite: Fink, J. and Seidler, R.: Predicting Optimal Borehole Locations for Parameter Estimation in Geothermal Reservoirs Using Optimal Experimental Design, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12419,, 2021.

Mirja Pavić, Staša Borović, Maja Briški, Tihomir Frangen, and Kosta Urumović

The increase in thermal water utilisation is foreseen by many European and Croatian strategic documents regulating energetics, tourism, environmental protection and sustainable development. Croatian Geological Survey wishes to establish a multidisciplinary group for hydrothermal systems research which will contribute to responsible geothermal development in our country through a 5-year research project HyTheC which started in 2020.

Pannonian part of Croatia has favourable geothermal characteristics and natural thermal water springs emerge at two dozen localities, with temperatures up to 65 °C. These waters have been used for millennia, and in the past fifty years they are a basis for the development of tourism and health care centres which use the thermal water resource for heating, therapy and recreation (Borović & Marković, 2015). As their water demand increased, higher quantities were abstracted and additional intake structures and wells were constructed.

Thermal springs are part of hydrothermal systems which include: recharge areas in the mountainous hinterlands of the springs; geothermal aquifers - in Croatia mostly fractured and karstified Mesozoic carbonate rocks (Borović et al., 2016) - in which water resides and gets heated due to heat flow from the Earth; and discharge areas in places with favourable structural characteristics of higher permeability. The continuous functioning of such systems depends on a delicate balance between groundwater flow velocities, precipitation/dissolution processes and structural framework.

In order to maintain that balance and use thermal water resources in a sustainable manner, a system-level understanding is required. Multidisciplinary methodology (structural geology, hydrogeology, geothermal, hydrogeochemical and geophysical research and remote sensing) will be used to construct conceptual models of systems, perform 3D geological modelling, hydrogeological and thermal parametrisation of the geological units involved in the thermal fluid flow, and conduct numerical simulations of system functioning in undisturbed conditions and with different extraction scenarios.

This methodology will be tested in three pilot areas in Croatia where thermal water is being utilized (Daruvar, Hrvatsko zagorje and Topusko). These three areas have significantly different levels of initial data availability and it shall therefore be determined which methodology and order of application of different methods should be applied while researching the systems with considerable existing data, medium amount of data and very scarce data, respectively.

Keywords : hydrothermal system, natural thermal spring, multidisciplinary research, Croatia


Borović, S. & Marković, T. 2015 : Utilization and tourism valorisation of geothermal waters in Croatia. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 44, pp. 52-63.

Borović, S., Marković, T., Larva, O., Brkić, Ž. & Mraz, V. 2016 : Mineral and Thermal Waters in the Croatian Part of the Pannonian Basin. U: Papić, P., ur., Mineral and Thermal Waters of Southeastern Europe. Cham: Springer, pp. 31-45.



The Installation Research project HyTheC (UIP-2019-04-1218) is funded by the Croatian Science Foundation.

How to cite: Pavić, M., Borović, S., Briški, M., Frangen, T., and Urumović, K.: HyTheC - Multidisciplinary approach to conceptual modelling of hydrothermal systems in Croatia, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12456,, 2021.

Virginie Hamm, Laure Capar, Perrine Mas, Philippe Calcagno, and Séverine Caritg-Monnot

In Ile-de-France region, in the center of Paris Basin, geothermal energy contributes to a large extent to the supply of heating networks with about 50 of the 70 deep geothermal installations dedicated to district heating in France. Those installations mainly exploit the Dogger limestones between 1500-2000 m deep, which are present throughout the Paris Basin. In the case of Centre Val-de Loire region, south of Paris Basin, deep geothermal energy is very little developed, only one geothermal well is currently in operation and targeting the Triassic aquifer at Chateauroux on the southern edge of the basin. A former doublet had also targeted the Trias at Melleray (Orléans metropolis) in the 1980’s but was shut down after one year due to reinjection problem.

In 2019, Orléans metropolis, in collaboration with BRGM, has launched a program in order to investigate its deep geothermal resources like the Dogger and Trias aquifers between 900 m and 1500 m deep. This action is in line with Orléans métropolis Territorial Climate Air Energy Plan (PCAET) and master plan for the heating networks adopted which foresee 65 000 additional dwellings to be connected using geothermal energy based heating networks.

In order to reduce the risks of failure of deep geothermal drilling, one of the prerequisites is a better knowledge of the subsurface. This requires the development of an accurate 3D subsurface geomodel as well as the most reliable possible hydrodynamic and thermal parameters to assess the geothermal potential. The purpose of this work was to produce a 3D geological model of the Dogger and Triassic units, on the scale of Orléans Metropolis, based on hydrocarbon and geothermal well data as well as interpretation of 2D seismic data. Seismic data acquired in the 1960s and the 1980s were processed and interpreted. A particular attention was paid to the Sennely fault and its geometry. It crosses the study area and was interpreted as a relay fault segmented in three parts. The horizon picking points were then converted from two-way time to depth and integrated in the GeoModeller software for the development of the 3D geomodel. It was then used for first hydrothermal simulations in order to assess the theorical potential of the Dogger and Trias aquifers at Orléans metropolis.

The 3D geomodel and first geothermal potential assessment have allowed defining areas of interest for geothermal development into the Dogger or Trias. However an initial exploratory drilling well or additional exploration techniques will be necessary to confirm/specify the reservoir properties (useful thickness, porosity, permeability) and the connectivity of the reservoir(s) and the flow rates that can actually be exploited, which cannot be predicted by the current geological model.

How to cite: Hamm, V., Capar, L., Mas, P., Calcagno, P., and Caritg-Monnot, S.: Characterisation of the Dogger and Trias deep ressources in Orléans Métropolis, Centre-Val de Loire region, France : 3D geomodel and first geothermal potential assessment, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14465,, 2021.

Risk Assessment
Brian O’Reilly, Duygu Kiyan, Javier Fullea, Sergei Lebedev, Christopher J. Bean, Patrick Meere, and Emma L. Chambers and the DIG team

Potential deep (greater > 400 m) geothermal resources, within low to medium temperature settings remain poorly understood and largely untapped in Europe. DIG (De-risking Ireland’s Geothermal Potential) is a new academic project started in 2020, which aims to develop a better understanding of Ireland’s (all-island) low-enthalpy geothermal energy potential through the gathering, modelling and interpretation of geophysical, geological, and geochemical data.

The overarching research objectives, are to (i) determine the regional geothermal gradient with uncertainty estimates across Ireland using new and existing geophysical and geochemical-petrophysical data, (ii) investigate the thermochemical crustal structure and secondary fracture porosity in Devonian/Carboniferous siliciclastic and carbonate lithologies using wide-angle seismic, gravity and available geochemical data, and (iii) identify and assess the available low-enthalpy geothermal resources at reservoir scale within the Upper Devonian Munster Basin, i.e. the Mallow warm springs region, using electromagnetic and passive seismic methods, constrained by structural geological mapping results. A new hydrochemistry programme to characterise deep reservoir water composition will add further constraints.

In the island-scale strand of the project, we are using Rayleigh and Love surface waves in order to determine the seismic-velocity and thermal structure of the lithosphere, with crustal geometry. Together with the legacy surface heat flow, gravity, and newly available long-period MT data, this will place bounds on the shape of regional geotherms. Radiogenic heat production and thermal conductivity measurements for Irish rocks will be incorporated into an integrated geophysical-petrological model, within a scheme able to provide critical temperature uncertainties. Regional-scale research will exploit legacy wide-angle seismic data across the Laurentian and Avalonian geological terranes. Geochemical and petrophysical databases will guide in-house Bayesian inversion tools, to estimate probabilities on model outcomes.

Local-scale research will derive subsurface electrical conductivity and velocity images from electromagnetic and passive seismic surveys from the northern margin of the Munster Basin, where the thermal waters tend to have a distinctive chemical fingerprint and a meteoric origin based on available geochemical and isotopic compositions. This local focus aims to directly image fault conduits and fluid aquifer sources at depth, within a convective/conductive region associated with warm springs. This will determine the scale of the geothermal anomaly and hence will evaluate the potential for local- and industrial-scale space heating in the survey locality.

This presentation will give an overview of this new research project and will deliver preliminary multi-parameter crustal models produced by the thermodynamic inversions that fit the surface-wave and surface elevation data. The project is funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland under the SEAI Research, Development & Demonstration Funding Programme 2019 (grant number 19/RDD/522) and by the Geological Survey Ireland.

How to cite: O’Reilly, B., Kiyan, D., Fullea, J., Lebedev, S., Bean, C. J., Meere, P., and Chambers, E. L. and the DIG team: DIG: A New Project to De-risk Ireland’s Geothermal Energy Potential , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12254,, 2021.

Maria Vittoria Gargiulo, Alexander Garcia, Ortensia Amoroso, and Paolo Capuano

To the welfare of both economy and communities, our society widely exploits geo-resources. Nevertheless, with benefits come risks and even impacts. Understanding how a given project intrinsically bares such risks and impacts is of critical importance for both industry and society. In particular, it is fundamental to distinguish between the specific impacts related to exploiting a given energy resource and those shared with the exploitation of other energy resources. In order to do so, it is useful to differentiate impacts in two categories: routine impacts – caused by ordinary routine operations, investigated by Life-cycle assessment with a deterministic approach – and risk impacts – caused by incidents due to system failure or external events, investigated by risk assessments with a probabilistic approach. The latter category is extremely interesting because it includes low probability/high consequences events, which may not be completely independent or unrelated, causing the most disastrous and unexpected damages. For this reason, it is becoming more and more crucial to develop a strategy to assess not only the single risks but also their possible interaction and to harmonize the result obtained for different risk sources. Of particular interest for this purpose is the Multi-Hazard/Multi-Risk Assessment.

The aim of our work is to present an approach for a comprehensive analysis of impacts of geo-resource development projects. Routine operations as well as risks related to extreme events (as e.g.,seismic or meteorological) are linked using a Multi-Hazard Risk (MHR) approach built upon a Life-Cycle analysis (LCA). Given the complexity of the analysis, it is useful to adopt a multi-level approach: (a) an analysis of routine operations, (b) a qualitative identification of risk scenarios and (c) a quantitative multi-risk analysis performed adopting a bow-tie approach. In particular, after studying the two tools, i.e. LCA and MRA, we have implemented a protocol to interface them and to evaluate certain and potential impacts.

The performance of the proposed approach is illustrated on a virtual site (based on a real one) for geothermal energy production. As a result, we analyse the outcome of the LCA, identify risk-bearing elements and events, to finally obtain harmonised risk matrices for the case study. Such approach, on the one hand, can be used to assess both deterministic and stochastic impacts, on the other hand, can also open new perspective in harmonizing them. Using the LCA outputs as inputs of the MRA can allow the analyst to focus on particular risk pathways that could otherwise seem less relevant but can open new perspective in the risk/impact evaluation of single elements, as we show in this case study.

This work has been supported by S4CE ("Science for Clean Energy") project, funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 - R&I Framework Programme, under grant agreement No 764810 and by PRIN-MATISSE (20177EPPN2) project funded by Italian Ministry of Education and Research.

How to cite: Gargiulo, M. V., Garcia, A., Amoroso, O., and Capuano, P.: An integrated approach to assess both risk and impacts related with geo-resources exploration and exploitation, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2216,, 2021.

Estefanny Davalos-Elizondo and Daniel Lao Davila

We investigated the relationship between the geothermal fluids and the fracture networks that control the storage and fluid pathways of geothermal systems in the northern part of the Malawi Rifted Zone (MRZ). The MRZ is a magma-poor rift located in the Western Branch, where potential geothermal energy is postulated from elevated heat flow and the emergence of hot springs through fracture zones. However, there is a lack of knowledge about the fracture networks that control fluid pathways and storage of the geothermal systems in the region.

Preliminary geothermometer calculation studies of hot springs in the MRZ suggested that the highest geothermal reservoir temperatures (200 °C) are found in the northern region. Additionally, the hot springs are associated with the local meteoric water that seeps through deep fracture zones. These structurally-controlled geothermal systems are characterized by geothermal fluids stored in fracture zones with vertical fluid rise (upflows) and/or in shallow sedimentary rocks with  horizontal geothermal circulation (outflows) deposited in basins along the MRZ. 

The guiding hypothesis is that interconnected regional joints, inherited reactivated structures, and Quaternary faults comprise a complex fracture network that controls the geothermal fluid transport and storage of geothermal systems in the northern part of the MRZ. Therefore, this study aims to quantify the relationship between complex fracture networks and geothermal fluids in this region. Here the term “complexity” means fracture networks that show a wider range of orientations and higher intensity than other areas. We use digital elevation models to map structures, density maps of fracture intensity, and topology characterization to identify surface level connectivity. Additionally, we use high-resolution aeromagnetic data to identify possible conductive structures at depth and the relationship between Precambrian structures and geothermal systems. 

The preliminary results show that most of the hot springs in the Karonga area are located in Permian-Triassic and Quaternary basins with ~NNW-SSE fault trends. Also, the hot springs are focused on a region of higher fracture intensity with a favorable setting related to terminations of ~NNW-SSE faults and intersections with reactivated Precambrian foliations (NW-SE). The Chiweta hot spring, the highest reservoir temperature in Malawi, is located at an intersection between NE-SW, N-S, and NW-SE fault systems. Aeromagnetic data shows that most of the hot springs are aligned with the deep conductive structures ~NW-SE oriented of the Karonga Fault Zone (KFZ). The KFZ has been associated with the reactivation of the Precambrian Mughese Shear Zone.

The expectations of this research are: 1) to provide a better understanding of the fracture networks that transport the geothermal fluids, 2) to identify permeable areas to mitigate the high-risk of drilling non-productive wells, and 4) the low-cost methodology used in this study can be applied in similar areas of the Western Branch.

How to cite: Davalos-Elizondo, E. and Lao Davila, D.: Assessment of the fracture networks controlling geothermal fluids in the northern part of the Malawi Rifted Zone, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-977,, 2021.

Annette Dietmaier and Thomas Baumann

The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) commits EU member states to achieve a good qualitative and quantitative status of all their water bodies.  WFD provides a list of actions to be taken to achieve the goal of good status.  However, this list disregards the specific conditions under which deep (> 400 m b.g.l.) groundwater aquifers form and exist.  In particular, deep groundwater fluid composition is influenced by interaction with the rock matrix and other geofluids, and may assume a bad status without anthropogenic influences. Thus, a new concept with directions of monitoring and modelling this specific kind of aquifers is needed. Their status evaluation must be based on the effects induced by their exploitation. Here, we analyze long-term real-life production data series to detect changes in the hydrochemical deep groundwater characteristics which might be triggered by balneological and geothermal exploitation. We aim to use these insights to design a set of criteria with which the status of deep groundwater aquifers can be quantitatively and qualitatively determined. Our analysis is based on a unique long-term hydrochemical data set, taken from 8 balneological and geothermal sites in the molasse basin of Lower Bavaria, Germany, and Upper Austria. It is focused on a predefined set of annual hydrochemical concentration values. The data range dates back to 1937. Our methods include developing threshold corridors, within which a good status can be assumed, and developing cluster analyses, correlation, and piper diagram analyses. We observed strong fluctuations in the hydrochemical characteristics of the molasse basin deep groundwater during the last decades. Special interest is put on fluctuations that seem to have a clear start and end date, and to be correlated with other exploitation activities in the region. For example, during the period between 1990 and 2020, bicarbonate and sodium values displayed a clear increase, followed by a distinct dip to below-average values and a subsequent return to average values at site F. During the same time, these values showed striking irregularities at site B. Furthermore, we observed fluctuations in several locations, which come close to disqualifying quality thresholds, commonly used in German balneology. Our preliminary results prove the importance of using long-term (multiple decades) time series analysis to better inform quality and quantity assessments for deep groundwater bodies: most fluctuations would stay undetected within a < 5 year time series window, but become a distinct irregularity when viewed in the context of multiple decades. In the next steps, a quality assessment matrix and threshold corridors will be developed, which take into account methods to identify these fluctuations. This will ultimately aid in assessing the sustainability of deep groundwater exploitation and reservoir management for balneological and geothermal uses.

How to cite: Dietmaier, A. and Baumann, T.: Long term variations of the hydrochemical composition of deep thermal ground water in the Lower Bavarian Molasse Basin – Causes and Perspectives, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4127,, 2021.

Lilly Zacherl and Thomas Baumann

Scalings in geothermal systems are affecting the efficiency and safety of geothermal systems. An operate-until-fail maintenance scheme might seem appropriate for subsurface installations where the replacement of pumps and production pipes is costly and regular maintenance comprises a complete overhaul of the installations. The situation is different for surface level installations and injection wells. Here, monitoring of the thickness of precipitates is the key to optimized maintenance schedules and long-term operation.

A questionnaire revealed that operators of geothermal facilities start with a standardized maintenance schedule which is adjusted based on local experience. Sensor networks, numerical modelling and predictive maintenance are not yet applied. In this project we are aiming to close this gap with the development of a non-invasive sensor system coupled to innovative data acquisition and evaluation and an expert system to quantitatively predict the development of precipitations in geothermal systems and open cooling towers.

Previous investigations of scalings in the lower part of production pipes of a geothermal facility suggest that the disruption of the carbonate equilibrium is triggered by the formation of gas bubbles in the pump and subsequent stripping of CO2. Although small in it's overall effect on pH-value and saturation index, significant amounts of precipitates are forming at high volumetric flow rates. To assess the kinetics of gas bubble induced precipitations laboratory experiments were run. The experiment addresses precipitations at surfaces and at the gas bubbles themselves.

How to cite: Zacherl, L. and Baumann, T.: Gas bubble induced scalings in geothermal systems, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8170,, 2021.

Giovanni Vespasiano, Francesco Muto, Rosanna De Rosa, Mara Cipriani, Elissavet Dotsika, and Carmine Apollaro

The geochemical characteristics of the Calabrian thermal waters have already been investigated in several studies which adopted a sort of ‘‘regional’’ approach.  On the other hand, the recent works by Vespasiano et al., 2014 and Apollaro et al. 2019 were focused to specific thermal sites with the aim to investigate the geochemistry and to reconstruct the local geothermal conceptual model. In this study, was adopted the same ‘‘local’’ approach to investigate the geochemistry of the warm and cold-water discharges from the Cotronei and Caccuri thermal area. Bruciarello, Cotronei (Ponte Coniglio) and Repole thermal areas fall in the proximity of the western side of the Crotone Basin made up of terrains structured between the middle Miocene and Holocene, transgressive on the crystalline basement belonging to the Sila massif. The Basin, located on the Ionian side of the PCO (Peloritan Calabrian Orogen), was interpreted like a forearc basin in the inner portion of the Calabrian accretion wedge.

Geochemical and hydrogeological data allow to identify the presence of (i) a deep primary geothermal endmember hosted into the crystalline basement (Cotronei system), and (ii) secondary shallow systems developed in the Miocene sedimentary successions (Bruciarello and Repole). All thermal waters have shown different composition: Na(Ca)-Cl composition for Ponte Coniglio-Cotronei (EC 3.57 ± 0.22 mS/cm), Na(Ca)-Cl(SO4) composition for Bruciarello (EC 8.17 ± 0.76 mS/cm) and Na-SO4(Cl) composition for Repole (EC 4.15 mS/cm). The water-rock interaction between primary fluids and evaporitic succession leads to the formation of the secondary Bruciarello and Repole systems. In these sites, the thermal endmember, hosted in the crystalline basement, infiltrates within Miocene evaporitic successions and undergone important compositional changes due to Anhydrite (or gypsum) and sodium Al-silicates dissolution (e.g. Albite) followed by precipitation of phases such as calcite and clay minerals (e.g. Caolinite).

The silica geothermometers indicated temperatures of 55 ± 2 °C for the endmember and slightly lower temperatures for the remaining two systems. Furthermore, δ18O and δ2H values highlight a meteoric origin for all thermal systems and provide infiltration altitude of about 1650 – 1850 m a.s.l. that agree with the Sila plateau heights.

Assuming a geothermal gradient of about 33°C/km, a temperature for the deep thermal reservoir of ⁓55 °C and an average atmospheric temperature of 6°C in the recharge area (Sila plateau), it can be assumed that the meteoric waters descend to depths of 1500 m, where the thermal aquifer is located. This data would confirm the location of the primary geothermal reservoir within the crystalline basement.

Apollaro C., Tripodi V., Vespasiano G., De Rosa R., Dotsika E., Fuoco I., Critelli S., Muto F. 2019. Chemical, isotopic and geotectonic relations of the warm and cold waters of the Galatro and Antonimina thermal areas, southern Calabria, Italy. Marine and Petroleum Geology. 109, 469–483.

Vespasiano G., Apollaro C., Muto F., Dotsika E., De Rosa R., Marini L. 2014 - Chemical and isotopic characteristics of the warm and cold waters of the Luigiane Spa near Guardia Piemontese (Calabria, Italy) in a complex faulted geological framework. Applied Geochemistry, 41, 73-88.

How to cite: Vespasiano, G., Muto, F., De Rosa, R., Cipriani, M., Dotsika, E., and Apollaro, C.: Preliminary geochemical and isotopic characterization of the warm and cold waters of the Cotronei (Ponte Coniglio), Bruciarello and Repole thermal areas, (Calabria - Southern Italy)., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8715,, 2021.

Carbajal-Martínez Daniel, Loïc Peiffer, Larryn W. Diamond, John M. Fletcher, Claudio Inguaggiato, and Christoph Wanner

Non-magmatic, orogenic geothermal systems are recognized as significant energy resources for electricity production or direct uses. This study focuses on the non-magmatic geothermal system hosted by the Agua Blanca fault, Ensenada, Mexico. The Agua Blanca fault is a 140 km long transtensional structure with segments recording up to 11 km of dextral strike-slip displacement and normal throws of up to 0.65 km. We have identified at least seven geothermal areas manifested by hot springs discharging at temperatures ranging from 38 °C to 107 °C. These systems involve topography-driven infiltration of meteoric water deep into the Agua Blanca fault and exfiltration of the heated water at valley floors and along a local beach known as La Jolla.

For this contribution, we present recent and ongoing exploration activities aiming to (i) obtain a fundamental understanding of the governing thermal-hydraulic-chemical processes controlling the circulation of meteoric water in the hydrothermally active fault system and (ii) quantify the natural discharge rate and its respective advective heat output. Chemical and isotopic analyses of thermal springs and seismic epicenters' location reveal that meteoric water penetrates between 5 to 10 km deep into the brittle orogenic crystalline basement and thereby attains temperatures between 105 and 215 °C. Interestingly, the deepest circulation and hottest reservoir temperatures occur where the extensional displacement along the fault shows maximum values. However, our data provide no evidence that meteoric water infiltrates beyond the brittle-ductile zone in the crust (12-18 km).

For the La Jolla beach thermal area, we have quantified the advective heat output from thermal images acquired with an unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with a thermal camera and from water flow and direct temperature measurements. The total thermal water discharge is 330 ± 44 L s-1 and occurs over a surface area of 2804 m2 at temperatures up to 52 °C. At 20 cm depth, the temperature is as high as 93 °C. These observations collectively imply a current heat output of 40.5 ± 5.2 MWt (Carbajal-Martínez et al., 2020). We are currently estimating the shape and magnitude of the subsurface thermal anomaly at La Jolla beach by performing coupled thermal-hydraulic-chemical simulations using the code Toughreact.

We conclude that meteoric water circulation through the Agua Blanca fault system reflects the interplay between the permeability distribution along the fault system and the rugged regional topography. Under ideal conditions such as at La Jolla beach, such circulation generates rather large thermal outputs that could supply the thermal energy for a multi-effect distillation desalinization plant and contribute to cover the shortage of fresh water in Ensenada.

How to cite: Daniel, C.-M., Peiffer, L., Diamond, L. W., Fletcher, J. M., Inguaggiato, C., and Wanner, C.: Exploration of orogenic, fault-hosted geothermal systems using an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13261,, 2021.

Alba Martín-Lorenzo, Fátima Rodríguez, Mar Alonso, Cecilia Amonte, Gladys V. Melián, María Asensio-Ramos, Eleazar Padrón, Pedro A. Hernández, and Nemesio M. Pérez

There is no evidence of hydrothermal fluid discharges in the surficial environment of the Canary Islands, the only Spanish territory with potential high enthalpy geothermal resource, with the exception of the Teide fumaroles.

In 2011 and 2014 several geochemical and geophysical studies were carried out across 4 mining licenses on the island of Tenerife (Abeque, Berolo, Guayafanta, Garehagua) for geothermal exploration purposes. The geothermal exploration licenses known as Garehagua and Abeque, located on the south ridge and on the northwest ridge of the island of Tenerife respectively, showed the highest geothermal potential of the studied areas. It was decided to carry out several more detailed studies in the areas with the most significant anomalies to better characterize the potential for economic exploitation.

Three surface geochemical surveys each with an average measurement spacing of ~40 m were conducted, and allowed for a mesh resolution of 10 m x 10 m: a mesh size of a much higher spatial resolution than typical grids for surveys of potentially prospective or known geothermal areas. An area called ‘’Madre del Agua’’, located in the northern zone of the Gareagua mining license was prioritised for attention due to i) observed geochemical anomalies at the soil surface; ii) the prominent low-resistivity structure interpreted as a clay alteration cap, and; iii) the positive correlation between thickness of clay alteration cap and helium emission. This study area covers ~0.7 km2. The second area selected for detailed study is located inside the Abeque mining license. The spatial correlation between the helium enrichment and the endogenous CO2 component of Abeque motivated the selection of this study area called ‘’Abeque Detalle’’, which covers ⁓0.8 km2. The third study area called ‘’Fuente del Valle’’ (⁓0.6 km2) was motivated by the observation of significant values ​​of helium anomalies in the Garehagua study area that were measured on the surface in the vertical of a bubbling of endogenous gases at depth, ~2,850 m from the entrance of the Fuente del Valle gallery.

The studies were completed from July to September 2018 (Madre del Agua and Abeque Detalle) and from January to March 2019 (Fuente del Valle). During the survey 1065 sampling sites were made, distributed among the three surveys: 362 points in Madre del Agua, 377 in Abeque Detalle and 326 in Fuente del Valle. At each sampling site the soil CO2 efflux and 222Rn activity were measured in-situ and He and H2 were sampled at 40 cm depth and analysed in the lab. The spatial distribution of soil gases of the three study areas confirm the presence of relative enrichment of non-reactive and/or highly mobile gases in the soil gas atmosphere such as He and CO2, that suggests the existence of a significant contribution of deep-seated gases.

How to cite: Martín-Lorenzo, A., Rodríguez, F., Alonso, M., Amonte, C., Melián, G. V., Asensio-Ramos, M., Padrón, E., Hernández, P. A., and Pérez, N. M.: A detailed soil gas physical-chemical survey for geothermal exploration at Tenerife, Canary Islands., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15066,, 2021.

Christopher Dalby, Robin Shail, Tony Batchelor, Lucy Cotton, Jon Gutmanis, Gavyn Rollinson, Frances Wall, and James Hickey

SW England is the most prospective region in the UK for the development of deep geothermal energy as it has highest heat flow values (c. 120 mW m-2) and predicted temperatures greater than 190 oC at 5 km depth. The United Downs Deep Geothermal Project (UDDGP), situated near Redruth in Cornwall, is the first deep geothermal power project to commence in the UK. Two deviated geothermal wells, UD-1 (5058 m TVD) and UD-2 (2214 m TVD), were completed in 2019 and intersect the NNW-SSE-trending Porthtowan Fault Zone (PTFZ) within the Early Permian Cornubian Batholith.

The Cornubian Batholith is composite and can be divided into five granite types that were formed by variable source melting and fractionation [1]. These processes were the primary control on the heterogeneous distribution of U, Th and K that underpins heat production in the granite. Previous high resolution airborne gamma-ray data has demonstrated the spatial variation of near-surface granite heat production [2], and the CSM Hot Dry Rock Project (1977-1991) provided U, Th and K distributions to depths of 2600 m in the Carnmenellis Granite [3]. However, uncertainties in: (i) U, Th and K content in the deeper batholith, (ii) thermal conductivity are still challenges to modelling the high heat flow.

Preliminary evaluation of UD-1 downhole spectral gamma data (900-5057 m) indicates the presence of three major granite types on the basis of contrasting U and Th characteristics. QEMSCAN mineralogical analysis of cuttings (720 – 5057 m) demonstrates the overwhelming dominance of two mica (G1) and muscovite (G2) granites and little expression of biotite (G3) granites. U- and Th- bearing accessory minerals include monazite, zircon and apatite, with the appearance of allanite and titanite in the deeper granites. Representivity analysis between various cutting fractions show no systematic bias in the major mineral components.

There is a substantial increase in Th below 3000 m that indicates the deeper parts of the batholith are likely to contribute substantially to overall heat production. Monazite is the primary source for Th and has a close association with micas. Mineralogical, mineral chemical, whole-rock geochemical and coupled thermal conductivity analysis is ongoing to improve understanding of the construction of this part of the Cornubian Batholith and its implications for the regional thermal resource and sub-surface temperature evaluation.

[1]Simons B et al. (2016) Lithos, 260: 76-94
[2]Beamish D and Busby J (2016) Geothermal Energy, 4.1:4
[3]Parker R (1989) Pergamon, 621.44

How to cite: Dalby, C., Shail, R., Batchelor, T., Cotton, L., Gutmanis, J., Rollinson, G., Wall, F., and Hickey, J.: Deep geothermal energy from the Cornubian Batholith: preliminary lithological and heat flow insights from the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project. , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15875,, 2021.

Maxime Catinat, Benjamin Brigaud, Marc Fleury, Miklos Antics, Pierre Ungemach, Melanie Davaux, Julien Gasser Dorado, Hadrien Thomas, Codjo Thomas Florent Essou, Simon Andrieu, and Emmanuel Mouche

With around 50 heating networks today operating, the aera around Paris is the European region which concentrates the most heating network production units in terms of deep geothermal energy. In France, the energy-climate strategy plans to produce 6.4TWh in 2023, compared to 1.5TWh produced in 2016. Despite an exceptional geothermal potential, the current average development rate of 70MWh/year will not allow this objective to be achieved, it would be necessary to reach a rate of 6 to 10 times higher. The optimization of the use of deep geothermal energy is a major challenge for France, and in Ile-de-France, which has a population of nearly 12 million inhabitants. This project aims to reconstruct and simulate heat flows in the Paris Basin using an innovative methodology (1) to characterize, predict and model the properties of reservoirs (facies, porosity, permeability) and (2) simulate future circulations and predict the performance at a given location (sedimentary basin) on its geothermal potential. This study focuses on a high density area of well infrastructures around Cachan, (8 doublets, 1 triplet in 56 km2). A new sub-horizontal doublet concept has been recently (2017) drilled at Cachan to enhance heat exchange in medium to low permeability formations. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR T2) logs have been recorded in the sub-horizontal well (GCAH2) providing information on pore size distribution and permeability. We integrated all logging data (gamma ray, density, resistivity, sonic, NRM T2) of the 19 wells in the area and 120 thin section observations from cuttings to derive a combined electrofacies-sedimentary facies description. A total of 10 facies is grouped into 5 facies associations coded in all the 19 wells according to depths and 10 3rd order stratigraphic sequences are recognized. The cell size of the 3D grid was set to 50 m x 50 m for the XY dimensions. The Z-size depends on the thickness of the sub-zones, averaging 5 m. The resulting 3D grid is composed of a total of nearly 8.105cells. After upscaled, facies and stratigraphic surfaces are used to create a reliable model using the “Truncated Gaussian With Trends” algorithm. The petrophysical distribution “Gaussian Random Function Simulation” is used to populate the entire grid with properties, included 2000 NMR data, considering each facies independently. The best reservoir is mainly located in the shoal deposits oolitic grainstones with average porosity of 12.5% and permeability of 100 mD. Finally, hydrodynamic and thermal simulations have been performed using Pumaflow to give information on the potential risk of interference between the doublets in the area and advices are given in the well trajectory to optimize the connectivity and the lifetime of the system. NMR data, especially permeability, allow to greater improve the simulations, defining time probabilities of thermal breakthrough in an area of high density wells.

How to cite: Catinat, M., Brigaud, B., Fleury, M., Antics, M., Ungemach, P., Davaux, M., Gasser Dorado, J., Thomas, H., Thomas Florent Essou, C., Andrieu, S., and Mouche, E.: NMR contribution in sub-horizontal well for porosity-permeability heterogeneity characterization in limestones: implications for 3D reservoir prediction and flow simulation in a world class geothermal aquifer, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1101,, 2021.

Johanna Bauer, Daniela Pfrang, and Michael Krumbholz

For successful exploitation of geothermal reservoirs, temperature and transmissibility are key factors. The Molasse Basin in Germany is a region in which these requirements are frequently fulfilled. In particular, the Upper Jurassic Malm aquifer, which benefits from high permeability due to locally intense karstification, hosts a large number of successful geothermal projects. Most of these are located close to Munich and the “Stadtwerke München (SWM)” intends to use this potential to generate most of the district heating demands from geothermal plants by 2040.

We use geophysical logging data and sidewall cores to analyse the spatial distribution of reservoir properties that determine porosity, permeability, and temperature distribution. The data are derived from six deviated wells drilled from one well site. The reservoir rocks are separated by faults and lie in three different tectonic blocks. The datasets include image logs, GR, sonic velocities, temperature, flowmeter- and mud logs. We not only focus on correlations between rock porosity and matrix permeability, but also on how permeability provided by fractures and karstification correlate with inflow zones and reservoir temperature. In addition, we correlate individual parameters with respect to their lithology, dolomitisation and the rock’s image fabric type, adapted from Steiner and Böhm (2011).  

Our results show that fracture intensity and orientations vary strongly, between and within individual wells. However, we observed local trends between fracture systems and rock properties. For instance fracture intensities and vp velocities (implying lower porosities) are higher in rock sections classified as dolomites without bedding contacts. As these homogeneous-appearing dolomites increase, from N to S, the mean fracture intensities and vp velocities also increase. Furthermore, we observed most frequently substantial karstification in dolomites and dolomitic limestones. Nevertheless, an opposing trend for the percentage of substantial karstification can be also found, i.e., the amount of massive karstification is higher in the northern wells. The interpretation of flowmeter measurements show that the main inflow zones concentrate in those Upper Malm sections that are characterised by karstification and/or intense fracturing.

In the next step, we will correlate laboratory measurements of outcrop- and reservoir samples (e.g. porosity, permeability, and mechanical rock properties) with the logging data. The aim is to test the degree to which analogue samples can contribute to reservoir characterization in the Upper Jurassic Malm Aquifer (Bauer et al., 2017).

This work is carried out in the research project REgine "Geophysical-geological based reservoir engineering for deep-seated carbonates" and is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (FKZ: 0324332B).

Bauer, J. F., Krumbholz, M., Meier, S., and Tanner, D. C.: Predictability of properties of a fractured geothermal reservoir: The opportunities and limitations of an outcrop analogue study, Geothermal Energy, 5, 24,, 2017.

Steiner, U., Böhm, F.: Lithofacies and Structure in Imagelogs of Carbonates and their Reservoir Implications in Southern Germany. Extended Abstract 1st Sustainable Earth Sciences Conference & Exhibition – Technologies for Sustainable Use of the Deep Sub-surface, Valencia, Spain, 8-11 November, 2011.

How to cite: Bauer, J., Pfrang, D., and Krumbholz, M.: Characterisation of a highly heterogeneous geothermal reservoir based on geophysical well logs, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2205,, 2021.

Michael Kühn and Leonard Grabow

The geothermal reservoir in Waiwera has been subject to active exploitation for a long time. It is located below the village on the Northern Island of New Zealand and was used commercially since 1863. The continuous production of geothermal water, to supply hotels and spas, had a negative impact on the reservoir. Until the year 1969 from all wells drilled the warm water flow was artesian. Due to overproduction the water had to be pumped from the 1970s on. Further, within the years 1975 to 1976 the warm water seeps on the beach of Waiwera ran dry. In order to protect the reservoir and the historical and tourist site in the early 1980s a water management plan was deployed. The "Auckland Council" established guidelines to enable sustainable management of the resource [1]. However, shortly after the recent shutdown of the primary user (Waiwera Thermal Resort & Spa) renewed artesian activity was reported by locals and newly obtained observation data indicate revived activity of the hot springs on the beachfront of Waiwera [2].

So far, the physical relation between abstraction rates and water level change of the hydrogeological system is only fairly understood [3]. The aim of this work was to link the influence of rates to actual reservoir properties and measured water level data. For this purpose, the daily abstraction history was investigated by means of a variable-rate well test analysis. For the analysis, a modified deconvolution algorithm of Von Schroeter et al. was implemented [4]. The algorithm derives the reservoir response function by solving a least square problem with the unique feature of imposing only implicit constraints on the solution space. To investigate the theoretical performance of the algorithm with respect to stability and error propagation a sensitivity analysis was conducted. The results for Waiwera were obtained by subjecting the implementation to a bootstrapping method which selected time periods to analyse on a random base.

Results throughout all years show radial flow during middle-time behaviour and a leaky flow boundary during late-time behaviour. As opposed to the expected model, a double-porosity flow or a constant head boundary were not determined. For middle-time behaviour, the findings agree very well with prior results of a pumping test. The late-time behaviour cannot be observed during the short pumping test but is in accordance with the expected model.

[1] Kühn M., Stöfen H. (2005) A reactive flow model of the geothermal reservoir Waiwera, New Zealand. Hydrogeology Journal 13, 606-626, doi: 10.1007/s10040-004-0377-6
[2] Präg M., Becker I., Hilgers C., Walter T.R., Kühn M. (2020) Thermal UAS survey of reactivated hot spring activity in Waiwera, New Zealand. Adv. Geosci. 54, 165-171, doi: 10.5194/adgeo-54-165-2020
[3] Kühn M., Schöne T. (2017) Multi variate regression model of the water level and production rate time series of the geothermal reservoir Waiwera (New Zealand). Energy Procedia 125, 571-579, doi: 10.1016/j.egypro.2017.08.196
[4] Schroeter T., Hollaender F., Gringarten A.C. (2004) Deconvolution of well-test data as a nonlinear total least-squares problem. SPE Journal, 9, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

How to cite: Kühn, M. and Grabow, L.: Deconvolution well test analysis applied to the Waiwera geothermal reservoir (New Zealand), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3044,, 2021.

Eszter Békési, Peter Fokker, Thibault Candela, János Szanyi, and Jan-Diederik van Wees

The long-term sustainable exploitation of geothermal resources requires cautious planning and regulation. Exploitation in excess of natural recharge can result in reservoir pressure decline, causing a decrease in production rates. Furthermore, such “overexploitation” of geothermal reservoirs may lead to compaction and land subsidence. Understanding of such phenomena is critical for the assessment of societal-environmental risks, but can also be used for optimization by constraining reservoir processes and properties.

Excessive thermal water volumes have been extracted from porous sedimentary rocks in the Hungarian part of the Pannonian Basin. Thermal water production in Hungary increased significantly from the early 70’s. Regional-scale overexploitation of geothermal reservoirs resulted in basin-scale pressure drop in the Upper Pannonian sediments, leading to compaction and ground subsidence.

We investigated surface deformation at the Szentes geothermal filed, SE Hungary, where the largest pressure decline occurred. We obtained data from the European Space Agency’s ERS and Envisat satellites to estimate the ground motions for the periods of 1992-2000 and 2002-2010. We applied inverse geomechanical modelling to understand the compaction behaviour of the reservoir system and to estimate the subsurface properties. We constrained the model parameters using the Ensemble Smoother with Multiple Data Assimilation, which allowed us to incorporate large amounts of surface movement observations in a computationally efficient way. The model requires pressure time series as input parameters, therefore, the lack of regular pressure measurements in geothermal wells of Szentes resulted in significant uncertainties. Still, we managed to identify a potential delay in pressure drop and subsidence, implying a time-decay compaction behaviour of the reservoir system,  and we arrived at realistic estimates for the compaction coefficient of the reservoir. The improved parametrization enables better forecasting of the reservoir behaviour and facilitates the assessment of future subsidence scenarios. This study thus demonstrates the effectiveness of InSAR-based ground motion data and inverse geomechanical modelling for the monitoring of geothermal reservoirs and the establishment of a sustainable production scheme.

How to cite: Békési, E., Fokker, P., Candela, T., Szanyi, J., and van Wees, J.-D.: Ground motions induced by pore pressure changes at the Szentes geothermal area, SE Hungary, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5185,, 2021.

Sonja Wadas and Hartwig von Hartmann

The Molasse Basin is one of the most promising areas for deep geothermal exploration in Germany and a very ambitious project in this region is to power the entire district heating system of the city of Munich with renewable energies by 2040; a major part of this will consist of geothermal energy. As part of a joint project (financed by the German Federal Ministry For Economic Affairs And Energy; FKZ 0324332B) the Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics (LIAG) works together with the Munich City Utilities (Stadtwerke München), to improve reservoir characterization and sustainable reservoir exploration within the German Molasse Basin. The target horizon for hydrothermal exploration is the aquifer in the Upper Jurassic carbonates. A major problem is the strong heterogeneity of the carbonates. Compared to quantity and quality of the structural data of the reservoir, the database of reservoir properties such as density, porosity and permeability, which describe the geothermal potential, is insufficient. Therefore, it is necessary to generate such data in order to improve the value of the structural information. A 3D seismic survey cannot only provide structural information, but also important reservoir properties such as elastic parameters and seismic attributes. One of the most important attributes is the acoustic impedance, which can be determined with a seismic inversion and used to estimate a porosity volume.

The data basis for this study was the 170km² GRAME-3D seismic survey measured in Munich, a structural geological model, and drilling and logging data from the geothermal site “Schäftlarnstraße”.

The inversion results show low impedance values at the top of the reservoir, but also at the middle part. Spatially, the intermediate block of the Munich fault shows low values but also the eastern part of the hanging wall block and the western part of the footwall block. Based on a well correlation a relationship between acoustic impedance and porosity could be determined and a 3D porosity volume was calculated. In the upper part but also in the middle part of the reservoir areas with increased porosity (>10%) are shown, which might indicate a high geothermal potential.

For a better classification, an attribute analysis was performed. The intermediate block and the eastern part of the hanging wall block show strongly fractured rocks. In contrast, there are hardly any conspicuous features in the western part of the footwall block, although high porosities are also expected here. This suggests that the presence of faults is not the only factor favoring high porosities in carbonates. More likely is a combination with karstification processes, which is why even areas that do not show enhanced tectonic deformation have high porosities.

How to cite: Wadas, S. and von Hartmann, H.: Porosity estimation and characterization of a geothermal carbonate reservoir in the South German Molasse Basin based on seismic inversion and attribute analysis, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7028,, 2021.

Second Time Slot
Heat Transfer
Heat transfer estimation through a high-temperature geothermal field in New Zealand quantified by multi-channel data modelling
Alberto Ardid, Rosalind Archer, and David Dempsey
Raquel Negrete-Aranda, Florian Neumann, Juan Contreras, Robert N. Harris, Ronald M. Spelz, Robert Zierenberg, and David W. Caress

New heat flow measurements collected throughout the Auka and JaichMaa Ja' ag' hydrothermal vent fields in the central graben of the Southern Pescadero Basin, southern Gulf of California, indicate that upflow of hydrothermal fluids associated with active rifting dissipate heat in excess of 10 W/m2 around faults that have a few tens-of-meters of displacement. Heat flow anomalies slowly decay to background values of ~2 W/m2 at distances of ~1 km from these faults following an inverse square-root distance law. We develop a physical model of the Auka vent field based on the fundamental Green's function solution of the heat equation. The model includes the effects of circulation in the porous networks of faults and the lateral seepage of geothermal brines through the fault walls to surrounding hemipelagic sediments.  We use an optimal fitting method to estimate the reservoir depth, permeability, and circulation rate. Our model indicates the heat source is at a depth of ~5.7 km; permeability and flow rates in the fracture system are ~10-14 m2 and 10-7 m/s, respectively, and ~10-16 m2 and 10-8 m/s in the basin aquitards, respectively. Model scaling laws point to the importance of faults in controlling sediment-hosted vent fields and slow circulation throughout low permeability sediments in controlling the brine's chemistry. Although the fault model seems appropriate and straightforward for the Pescadero vents, it does seem to be the exception to the other known sediment-hosted vent fields in the Pacific.

How to cite: Negrete-Aranda, R., Neumann, F., Contreras, J., Harris, R. N., Spelz, R. M., Zierenberg, R., and Caress, D. W.: Transport of Heat by Hydrothermal Circulation in a Young Rift Setting:  Observations from the Auka and JaichMaa Ja'ag' vent Field in the Pescadero Basin, Southern Gulf of California., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3525,, 2021.

Chairpersons: Denise Degen, Jan Niederau, Marco Calò
Pierfranco Lattanzi, Andrea Dini, Giovanni Ruggieri, and Eugenio Trumpy

Italy has never been a lithium (Li) producer, and the potential for “hard rock” deposits is moderate at best. On the other hand, the increasing demand for Li-based rechargeable batteries fostered new interest in this metal, and prompted the quest for alternative resources. The extraction of Li from geothermal brines (“geothermal lithium”) is currently considered in several countries, including, in Europe, France, Germany, and UK (EGEC, 2020).

Italy has vast geothermal resources, and there is a potential for “geothermal lithium” as well. A preliminary survey of literature data pointed out several occurrences of fluids with Li contents up to hundreds of mg/L. Among high-enthalpy fluids, we point out those of Cesano, Mofete, and Latera. At Cesano, geothermal fluids contain about 350 mg/L lithium (Calamai et al., 1976). Early studies conducted in the past century (Pauwels et al., 1990) suggested the feasibility of lithium recovery from these fluids. Even higher contents (480 mg/L) occur in the deep reservoir at Mofete (Guglielminetti, 1986), whereas fluids in the shallow and intermediate reservoir in the same field contain 28 to 56 mg/L. Geothermal fluids at Latera have somewhat lower contents (max 13.5 mg/L; Gianelli and Scandiffio, 1989). Several low-enthalpy thermal waters in Emilia-Romagna, Sardinia, Sicily and Tuscany also show significant (> 1 mg/L) Li contents (max 96 mg/L at Salsomaggiore; Boschetti et al., 2011). There are no published Li data for high-enthalpy fluids at Larderello; however, evidence of Li-rich fluids was found in fluid inclusions in hydrothermal minerals (Cathelineau et al., 1994). Moreover, the shallow (ca. 3.5 km) granitoid body underlying the field contains a Li-rich (about 1,000 ppm) biotite (A. Dini, unpublished data); it has been estimated that such rock may contain as much as 500 g Li per cubic meter.



Boschetti T., et al. - Aquat Geochem (2011) 17:71–108

Calamai A., et al. - Proc. U.N. Symp. Development Use Geotherm. Energy, S. Francisco, USA (1976), 305-313

Cathelineau M., et al. – Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta (1994) 58: 1083-1099

EGEC (European Geothermal Council). Accessed December 2, 2020.

Gianelli G., Scandiffio G. - Geothermics (1989) 18: 447-463

Guglielminetti M. - Geothermics (1986) 15: 781-790

Pauwels H., et al. - Proc. 12th New Zealand Geothermal Workshop (1990), 117-123

How to cite: Lattanzi, P., Dini, A., Ruggieri, G., and Trumpy, E.: The potential for geothermal lithium in Italy, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1688,, 2021.

Karla Elizalde, Mariana Patricia Jácome Paz, and Alma Adriana Zárate Arroyo

Cosmovision and geothermal: proposal for direct uses of the geothermal resource in El Carrizal, Veracruz, México

Keywords:  Geothermy, direct uses, resource, social analisis.

Currently there is a wide epistemological repertoire that tells us about the man-natural environment relationship, the close relationship that exists between these two entelechies has been the subject of controversy within scientific disciplines, and it is not possible to speak of man without a time and space, just as you cannot talk about space and its components without mentioning at some point the presence of man.

This close relationship between man and nature has evolved over time, going from a static concept to a dynamic one in response to the need to offer an explanation of how the natural environment with anthropic presence has been modified and used.

Geothermal energy plays a very important role, from the energy field to the tourist, forming part of our civilization and history, with which it has a wide historical and cultural background. That is why, at present, geothermal energy appears as an important solution for obtaining renewable, sustainable, accessible and low-cost ecological energy throughout its temperature range.


The main limiting cause for planning and carrying out an integral project of direct uses of the thermal resource is the lack of research work on thermal manifestations, where the geological and geochemical characteristics are described and which are integrated into a social analysis that tells us about perception of geothermal resources and the cultural and identity value that the adjacent population grants.

This panorama is repeated throughout the Mexican territory, and in particular, in the vicinity of the state of Veracruz and its various thermal springs, an example of this are: Los Baños Carrizal (Apazapan, Ver., 19 ° 19´ 15.69” N - 96 37´43.94” W), Hotel Chichaki (Apazapan, Ver., 19 ° 19´31.54” N - 96 ° 43´24.11” W), Isabelass Spa (Loc.Tinajitas, Actopan, Ver., 19 ° 37´ 38.07” N - 96 ° 27´31.87” W), among others.

In this work will present  the preliminary results of the project that leads to the realization of a geochemical characterization and the elaboration of a social study that manages to understand the role that the different thermal manifestations play around the history and culture of the population and with this to reach the proposal of a project of direct uses of the geothermal resource.

How to cite: Elizalde, K., Jácome Paz, M. P., and Zárate Arroyo, A. A.: Cosmovision and geothermal: proposal for direct uses of the geothermal resource, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6189,, 2021.

Gauthier Quinonez, Isabel Fernandez, Jan Hildebrand, Georgie Friederichs, Christina Baisch, and Ottó Elíasson

CROWDTHERMAL is an EU Horizon 2020 project, developing alternative funding schemes for geothermal energy. CROWDTHERMAL supports the European Green Deal aiming at reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. To reach this goal the involvement of society is needed. In 2017, renewable energy accounted for 17.5% of the European gross energy consumption, of which only 3% were geothermal energy – despite its upsides and positive impact regarding decarbonization and heating and cooling in Europe. Geothermal is green, available 24 hours a day. CROWTHERMAL contributes to decrease dependency on fossil fuels in Europe by empowering local communities to directly participate in the development of geothermal projects via alternative financing schemes and engaging communication strategies.


To support the participation in geothermal projects, CROWDTHERMAL is analysing the perception of geothermal energy and will develop a public engagement approach making extensive use of social media. Since our project started in September 2019, the CROWDTHERMAL team has developed a set of reports, addressing social, environmental and financial aspects of community financed geothermal projects.


With regards to finance, CROWDTHERMAL formulates new financing models for community funding at national and international levels covering Member States and the EU alike. Community funding will enable citizens to collectively finance geothermal projects that will not only benefit them but also the society as a whole. The positive effect of citizens’ participation in energy projects was showcased by a report on renewable energy projects in Europe using alternative financing methods at different stages of their development published in 2020. Furthermore, an alternative finance risk inventory and potential mitigation tools have been developed. The deliverables compile the advantages, potential risks and possible risk mitigation measures for different alternative finance methods, each from a project developer’s and from a community investor’s perspective. The financial models are currently being developed and will be validated with the help of three geothermal Case Studies in Iceland, Hungary and Spain and through an European survey conducted by European Federation of Geologists’ (EFG) Third Parties.


For the remaining 1.5 years of its funded period, CROWDTHERMAL will create Core Services and a social media powered platform that will support the deployment of integrated development schemes for geothermal energy utilising alternative finance and community engagement tools. It is targeted at project developers and citizens with an interest in energy empowerment. The aim is to connect the new approaches brought forwardhighlighted by CROWDTHERMAL with conventional financing, public engagement and risk mitigation schemes. It is also planned to launch a European mobilisation campaign via social media and conferences and workshops and by mobilising EFG Third Parties and the Altfinator Network. The CROWDTHERMAL Core Services will be designed to be operated after the EC-funded period helping geothermal projects tapping into alternative finance during the years to come.



Finally, CROWDTHERMAL started to strengthen ties with the Cost Action Geothermal-DHC and lately organised two joint meetings to identify synergies and potential opportunities for cooperation. The goal is to further expand the CROWTHERMAL network to provide opportunities to test CROWDTHERMAL concepts in a growing European geothermal energy market.



How to cite: Quinonez, G., Fernandez, I., Hildebrand, J., Friederichs, G., Baisch, C., and Elíasson, O.: CROWDTHERMAL – A vision for citizens’ empowerment in geothermal projects, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9442,, 2021.

Marc Schaming, Mathieu Turlure, Jean Schmittbuhl, Beata Orleka-Sikora, and Stanislaw Lasoki

The Data Centre for Deep Geothermal Energy (CDGP – Centre de Données de Géothermie Profonde, was launched in 2016 by the LabEx G-Eau-Thermie Profonde - now ITI Géosciences pour la transition énergétique GeoT, - to preserve, archive and distribute data acquired on geothermal sites in Alsace. At the moment, it archives and gives access to data from Soultz-sous-Forêts (1988-2010), Rittershoffen (2012-2014) and Vendenheim (2016-2021).

Access to patrimonial data like those from Soultz-sous-Forêts (SSF, 1993, 2000) or from Rittershoffen allows reprocessing of data, validation of new ideas. Cauchie et al. (2020) reinvestigated earthquakes during SSF 1993 stimulation and discussed implications for detecting the transition between events related to pre-existing faults and the onset of fresh fractures. Vallier et al. (2019) used a simplified 2D thermo-hydro-mechanical model of SSF reservoir to infer that the sediments–granite interface has a weak influence on the hydrothermal circulation, or that the brine viscosity has a huge impact on the hydrothermal circulation. Koepke et al. (2020) applied pseudo-probabilistic fracture network method to the seismicity induced during the SSF 2000 stimulation to confirm the existence of a large prominent fault. Drif et al. (2020) used data from Vendenheim area to determine the seismic moment, the source size, the average stress drop and the focal mechanism associated to the M3 event in November 2019.

Some of the CDGP data are also available on the EPOS Thematic Core Service Anthropogenic Hazards platform (, Orlecka-Sikora et al., 2020), with other geothermal episodes, and with applications to process and analyse the data. This platform is a functional e-research infrastructure that allows free experimentations in a virtual laboratory, promoting interdisciplinary collaborations between stakeholders (the scientific community, industrial partners and society).

Cauchie, L., Lengliné, O. & Schmittbuhl, J., 2020 - Seismic asperity size evolution during fluid injection: case study of the 1993 Soultz-sous-Forêts injection. Geophysical Journal International 221, 968–980.
Drif, K., Lengline, O., Lambotte, S., Kinscher, J. & Schmittbuhl, J., 2020 - Source parameters of the Ml3.0 StrasbourgEarthquake (12th November 2019). Communication at EGW2020,
Koepke, R., Gaucher, E. & Kohl, T., 2020 - Pseudo-probabilistic identification of fracture network in seismic clouds driven by source parameters. Geophys J Int 223, 2066–2084.
Orlecka-Sikora B., Lasocki S., Kocot J., Szepieniec T., Grasso J-R., Garcia-Aristizabal A., Schaming M., Urban P., Jones G., Stimpson, I., Dineva S., Sałek P., Leptokaropoulos K., Lizurek G., Olszewska D., Schmittbuhl J., Kwiatek G., Blanke A., Saccorotti G., Chodzińska K., Rudziński Ł., Dobrzycka I., Mutke G., Barański A., Pierzyna A., Kozlovskaya E., Nevalainen J.,  Kinscher J., Sileny J., Sterzel M., Cielesta, S., Fischer T., 2020 -An open data infrastructure for the study of anthropogenic hazards linked to georesource exploitation. Scientific Data 7, 89. doi:10.1038/s41597-020-0429-3.
Vallier, B., Magnenet, V., Schmittbuhl, J. & Fond, C, 2019 - Large scale hydro-thermal circulation in the deep geothermal reservoir of Soultz-sous-Forêts (France). Geothermics 78, 154–169.

How to cite: Schaming, M., Turlure, M., Schmittbuhl, J., Orleka-Sikora, B., and Lasoki, S.: CDGP, a data center of EPOS TCS Anthropogenic Hazards, to help analysis of geothermal anthropogenic seismicity, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10763,, 2021.

Maren Brehme, Martin O Saar, Evert Slob, Paola Bombarda, Hansruedi Maurer, Florian Wellmann, Phil J Vardon, David Bruhn, and Easygo Team

How to operate a geothermal system in the most efficient and safe manner? This is the most important and urgent question after a geothermal resource has been identified. The recently funded Innovative Training Network ‘EASYGO‘ will answer that question from different perspectives and give high-level training for early stage researchers (ESR; here PhD candidates) in geothermal operations.

Tackling the challenges of sustainable geothermal operations requires an interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach. To achieve the main objective, researchers will work on the whole chain of geothermal operations, from production to power-plant engineering to injection. They will develop novel monitoring concepts, perform real-time simulations, develop system components, assess novel concepts for operations and test operational parameters at the field scale. The major strength and originality of the programme is that it is developed around large-scale infrastructure. Researchers will have access to the infrastructure in all countries for testing equipment and doing real-time measurements.

EASYGO graduates will be a new generation of multidisciplinary experts in geothermal operations, trained to achieve standardised efficient and safe operations of geothermal systems to enable the ambitious international expansion plans. The mobility plan of EASYGO envisages each ESR to have at least one academic secondment and one industrial secondment.

EASYGO consists of an intersectoral team of experts from academic and non-academic institutions. All academic participants are members of the IDEA League, a strategic alliance of leading European universities of technology. The members of the IDEA League with a strong research profile in geothermal energy, TU Delft (The Netherlands), RWTH Aachen (Germany), ETH Zurich (Switzerland) and Politecnico di Milano (Italy), constitute the academic consortium of EASYGO. Additionally, ten industry partners from all countries drive the research from an applied point of view. Our ambition is to contribute to making Europe a world leader in geothermal science, operational technology and education, thereby accelerating the energy transition.

How to cite: Brehme, M., Saar, M. O., Slob, E., Bombarda, P., Maurer, H., Wellmann, F., Vardon, P. J., Bruhn, D., and Team, E.: EASYGO - Efficiency and Safety in Geothermal Operations – A new Innovative Training Network, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15437,, 2021.

Zhuo Wang and Zhaofa Zeng

Most recently, energy consumption around the world steps into a new situation divided by petroleum, natural gas, coal and new energy. Fossil fuels are disputed for pollution and CO2 emission, and geothermal energy is popular as a clean, ecofriendly and renewable new energy, which can be used for power generation or direct application (e.g. bathing, building heating).

Gonghe Basin, located in the western part of China, has been thought as a potential geothermal field since 1989. To investigate geothermal distribution in Gonghe Basin and adjacent area, magnetic data is used in this paper. Firstly, we proposed an improved magnetic interface inversion method based on traditional Park-Oldenburg method. This improved method introduces dual geological interfaces instead of one interface, variable magnetic susceptibility instead of constant magnetic susceptibility and upward continuation in a form equivalent to inversion iteration in the Fourier domain instead of the divergent, downward continuation term, to improve suitability and precision of the inversion method. Then Curie point depth (CPD) map and heat flow map could be deduced from magnetic data through the improved Park-Oldenburg method.

The CPDs range from 16 to 25.5 km and heat flow values range from 61 to 91 mW/m2. What's more, we take faults and seismic activities into account, we find that study area has greater geothermal potential in eastern part with shallower CPD, higher heat flow values and more active subsurface structure. Considering with known geothermal value in actual measurement, the results indicate high heat flow value in Gonghe Basin is coaction of high thermal background, radiogenic heat and partial geothermal anomalous heat source. 

How to cite: Wang, Z. and Zeng, Z.: Curie point depth and heat flow maps deduced from magnetic data of Gonghe Basin, China, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4140,, 2021.

Ivan Granados Chavarria, Marco Calò, Thomas Bodin, and Angel Figueroa Soto

Joint inversion of surfaces and teleseismic converted waves is commonly used to retrieve seismic structures beneath a seismic station. Currently, this approach is routinely applied at global and regional scale to probe the structures of the mantle and the lower-crust. However, the difficulty to retrieve reliable converted waves at high frequencies (> 1 Hz) makes challenging to apply this technique to resolve structures at shallow depths (<20 km). Here we explore the feasibility of using a trans-dimensional Bayesian scheme based on a reversible jump Markov Chains Monte Carlo method, to resolve shallow structure at local scale. We use phase and group velocity dispersion curves for Love and Rayleigh waves, from 0.5 to 10 s and tele-seismic converted waves in a distance range from 30o to 95o. We explore the ability of different approaches to retrieve high frequency converted phases that will be used in the framework of the Bayesian inversion. We present preliminary tests of the reliability of the method and applications to experimental data collected in the super-hot geothermal field of Los Humeros, México. This work is performed in the framework of the Mexican European consortium GeMex (Cooperation in Geothermal energy research Europe-Mexico, PT5.2 N: 267084 funded by CONACyT-SENER: S0019, 2015-04, and Horizon 2020, grant agreement No. 727550).

How to cite: Granados Chavarria, I., Calò, M., Bodin, T., and Figueroa Soto, A.: Joint inversion of converted and surface waves for characterization of geothermal fields, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13290,, 2021.

Tania Toledo, Anne Obermann, Philippe Jousset, Arie Verdel, Joana Martins, Kemal Erbas, Egill Júlíusson, Anette Mortensen, and Charlotte Krawczyk

The Theistareykir geothermal field is located at the intersection between the active Northern Rift Zone and the active Tjörnes Fracture Zone in NE Iceland, and its study is of vital importance for further development of local and regional geothermal resources. Since autumn 2017, a seismic network consisting of 21 stations was deployed to monitor the high temperature Theistareykir geothermal field (Iceland). This seismic network belongs to a set of multiparameter networks installed to better understand the underlying structure and behavior of the geothermal reservoir under exploitation.

In this framework, we use the continuous ambient noise seismic records between October 2017 and October 2019 to compute a 3D shear wave velocity model of the geothermal field and to detect possible stress changes due to the injection and production activities. We compute the phase auto- and cross-correlations of the vertical component recordings, measure the Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion curves, and obtain 2D group velocity maps between 1 and 5 s.  The 2D group-velocity maps are used to construct regionalized dispersion curves which are then inverted using a Neighborhood Algorithm to retrieve the 3D Vs model of Theistareykir. We observe various underground structures and identify the locations of possible magmatic or hydrothermal bodies in light of available and newly acquired geological and geophysical data. In addition, we analyze the short and long term temporal evolution of the phase auto-correlations using coda wave interferometry and discuss their relationship to the geothermal field operations. We notice a slightly stronger velocity reduction around the production site in comparison to the surrounding regions.

How to cite: Toledo, T., Obermann, A., Jousset, P., Verdel, A., Martins, J., Erbas, K., Júlíusson, E., Mortensen, A., and Krawczyk, C.: Ambient seismic noise monitoring and imaging at the Theistareykir geothermal field (Iceland), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12741,, 2021.

Denise Degen, Mauro Cacace, Cameron Spooner, Magdalena Scheck-Wenderoth, and Florian Wellmann

Geophysical process simulations pose several challenges including the determination of i) the rock properties, ii) the underlying physical process, and iii) the spatial and temporal domain that needs to be considered.

Often it is not feasible or impossible to include the entire complexity of the given application. Hence, we need to evaluate the consequences of neglecting certain processes, properties, etc. by using, for instance, sensitivity analyses. However, this evaluation is for basin-scale application non-trivial due to the high computational costs associated with them. These high costs arise from the high-dimensional character of basin-scale applications in the parameter, spatial, and temporal domain.

Therefore, this evaluation is often not performed or via computationally fast algorithms as, for example, the local sensitivity analysis. The problem with local sensitivity analyses is that they cannot account for parameter correlations. Thus, a global sensitivity analysis is preferential. Unfortunately, global sensitivity analyses are computationally demanding.

To allow the usage of global sensitivity analysis for a better evaluation of the changes in the influencing parameters, we construct in this work a surrogate model via the reduced basis method.

The reduced basis method is a model order reduction technique that is physics-preserving.  Hence, we are able to retrieve the entire state variable (i.e. temperature) instead of being restricted to the observation space.

To showcase the benefits of this methodology, we demonstrate with the Central European Basin System how the influences of the thermal rock properties change when moving from a steady-state to a transient system.

Furthermore, we use the case study of the Alpine Region to highlight the influences of the spatial distribution of measurements on the model response. This latter aspect is especially important since measurements are often used to calibrate and validate a given geological model. Thus, it is crucial to determine which amount of bias is introduced through our commonly unequal data distribution.

How to cite: Degen, D., Cacace, M., Spooner, C., Scheck-Wenderoth, M., and Wellmann, F.: Benefits of Global Sensitivity Analysis and Reduced Order Modeling for Basin-Scale Process Simulations, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7036,, 2021.

Sitti Nur Asnin, Martha Nnko, Sadock Josephat, Albano Mahecha, Elisante Mshiu, Giovanni Bertotti, and Maren Brehme

A geothermal area with only bicarbonate thermal water discharges at medium temperature requires a more integrated analysis than used in classical geochemical exploration. This signature is typical for steam-heated water, which commonly occurs at the margins of a geothermal system. However, these waters can also rise from carbonate rich layers in the central part of the field. Our study shows that fluid flow modeling can identify the exact source, flow pathways and temperatures of reservoir fluids based on water-rock interaction. For the first time, we present a conceptual geothermal fluid flow model based on geochemical data for the Songwe geothermal system in Tanzania.

Thermal springs discharge along NW-SE fracture zones in two separate areas: the central Songwe graben (Iyola, Main springs, Rambo and Kaguri) and eastern Songwe graben (Ikumbi). The discharge temperatures of springs range between 37 and 85 oC with Na-HCO3 type, and carbonate deposits surrounding most of the springs. We estimated fluid temperatures for a depth of 2.5km by applying K-Mg and Na-K-Ca (Mg correction) geothermometers, suggesting that reservoir fluids reach temperatures between 125 and 148 oC. We reconstructed reservoir fluid characteristics for that temperatures and propose oversaturated minerals (volcanics, clays, carbonates, apatites, weathered metamophics and hydrothermal minerals) as a model result of interaction between the deep fluids and certain lithologies. Comparison between the modeled oversaturated minerals with minerals in the springs (calcite, aragonite, analcime, muscovite, and smectite) suggests that Kaguri spring water is a result of interaction between deep reservoir fluids with all lithologies, passed on the way to the surface (Metamorphics, Karoo group and Red Sandstone). The fluid signature of Kaguri springs suggest an upflow zone of the geothermal system. Further, our model with oversaturated minerals shows that the thermal water from the reservoir flows laterally along the Red Sandstone layer to the eastern part of study area. It appears as Rambo springs, south of Kaguri springs, and as Main springs and Iyola to the west. The outflow zone might be continuing towards Ikumbi springs, where the fluids also interact with volcanic units. The proposed model shows that carbonate dissolution from the Red sandstone layer is the most common water-rock interaction. The carbonate is embedded in pores and fractures and occurs as matrix in the sandstone. The water-rock interaction is dominated by HCO3- and Na and seen in carbonate depositions at all springs.

How to cite: Asnin, S. N., Nnko, M., Josephat, S., Mahecha, A., Mshiu, E., Bertotti, G., and Brehme, M.: Fluid Flow Modeling using Geochemistry to Characterize the Songwe Medium Temperature Geothermal System - Tanzania, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9766,, 2021.

s.Mohammad Moulaeifard, Denise Degen, and Florian Wellmann

Pragmatic and cost-effective representations of geological structures and features (e.g., heterogeneities, faults and folds) in full 3-D geological models are challenging. Implementations are highly dependent on the flexibility of the representation method. We investigate the use of parametric surface-based geological modelling methods for the purpose of low-dimensional model representations. Specifically, we focus on two grid-free and controllable parametric surfaced-based modelling methods: NURBS and subdivision surfaces. NURBS are the standard method in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and have been used in geological reservoir modelling before. Subdivision surfaces are a common representation in the gaming and animation industry. They are very interesting as they can support watertight modelling and arbitrary topology (preserving the relationship between different parts of the model). However, this method is, to date, rarely used in geological modelling.

Unlike implicit modelling, parametric surfaced-based modelling is a grid-free representation and exploits the boundary surfaces of the model. Also, the geological features (e.g., heterogeneities, faults, folds) can be represented by there bounding surfaces instead of grid-cells. Therefore, they do not suffer from the limitation of grid cells (e.g., Stair-stepping), which are often present in implicit representations.

We discuss the advantages and shortcomings of both NURBS and subdivision surfaces for geological modelling. Furthermore, we investigate the approximation of geological structures by subdivision surfaces in this presentation. The approximated models are watertight (closed), controllable with few control points, smooth, and have less than 5% of the number of the vertices of the original model. Reducing the number of vertices of the model while preserving the topology can decrease the cost of both modelling and simulations. As the final step, we present the advantages of grid-free surface-based geological modelling for thermal finite element analyses by using a state-of-the-art finite-element solver, namely the MOOSE framework

How to cite: Moulaeifard, s. M., Degen, D., and Wellmann, F.: Grid-Free Surface-Based Geological Modelling using Subdivisions Surfaces and NURBS – Advantages for Geothermal Applications, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10114,, 2021.

Felicitas Kaplar and Thomas Baumann

Chemical stimulation of geothermal wells to remove drilling mud and to increase the connection to the reservoir are state of the art. There is hardly any deep geothermal well in the carbonates of the upper jurassic in the pre alpine foreland basin which was not developed using one or more pulses of acid. Several tons of acid are injected into the borehole and followed by a chaser to push the acid into the reservoir. Given the wide use of chemical stimulation measures, mass balance data for the stimulation is rare. This might be due to a rather simple reaction mechanism and the assumption that there is a full stoichiometric reaction and all injected acid is recovered. The efficiency of the stimulation is assessed based on the hydraulic properties derived from the short-term pumping tests following the stimulation. This project compares the full mass balance for chemical stimulation measures and the temporal development of the concentration of relevant ions during the pumping test after stimulation. The data was collected at several sites with a temporal resolution of down to 30 mins. The data includes multiple stimulations as well as stimulation with varying acids and different setup. Using this data set we want to answer the questions whether the acid is fully recovered, whether the assumption of full stochiometric reaction is valid, whether there is a difference in the transport of reactive and conservative ions, what additional value a hydrochemical analysis could add and whether on-site measurements could substitute costly measurements. The evaluation shows a distinct behaviour of the temporal development of the chloride concentration (after stimulation with hydrochloric acid) which can be described by a bi-exponential fit. The fitting parameters of the two exponential terms are getting closer with each stimulation indicating a reduced heterogeneity along the accessible flow paths around the borehole. A comparison of the full scale analysis with on-site sensors was sometimes not possible because the sensors showed a drift during the experiment or were poorly calibrated. As calcium, magnesium, and chloride ion concentrations showed different behaviour, electrical conductivity is not able to cover the full development. The mass balance indicates that a full recovery of the injected acid might take significantly longer than the short term pumping tests. Hydrochemical monitoring provides additional and relevant data about the reservoir in the surrounding of the borehole and allows important predictions about the long-term behaviour, especially if the borehole is used as injection well. For routine applications improved sensors and fast (and cheap) on-site analysis is required.

How to cite: Kaplar, F. and Baumann, T.: Comparative study of chemical stimulation at geothermal wells in the carbonates of the upper jurassic in the Bavarian Molasse Basin, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13172,, 2021.

Sui Tung and Kurt Feigl

The geothermal environment is an assembly of heterogeneous geological settings and complex interactions among different phases of rock and fluid medium. The artificial activities of energy production could further interplay with the on-going natural processes within volcanos, hotspots, and other geothermal areas to result in spatiotemporal signatures of displacements near the surface. Here, we study the temporal ground deformation near a geothermal site through processing Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) time-series data obtained over the past decades, as reconciled with the nearby GPS station. To interpret these signals and potentially reveal the reservoir’s temporal activity, we employ state-of-art finite element models (FEMs) to simulate a more realistic crustal domain near the energy-production zone with irregular reservoir geometry, distributed rock materials, and surface topography. Linear Bayesian geodetic inversion and Green’s function library area were adopted to quantify the cause of surface subsidence, as compared to the documented production history. Our study demonstrates an unprecedented approach to precisely simulate the elastic deformation caused by geothermal energy extraction and pumping, providing an important platform to further explore the in-depth evolving stress state and its relation to surrounding induced and natural seismicity.

How to cite: Tung, S. and Feigl, K.: Modeling surface deformation of geothermal environments with high-fidelity finite element models, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13413,, 2021.

Johannes Keller, Johanna Fink, and Norbert Klitzsch

We present SHEMAT-Suite, a numerical code for simulating flow, heat, and mass transport in porous media that has been published as an open source code recently. The functionality of SHEMAT-Suite comprises pure forward computation, deterministic Bayesian inversion, and stochastic Monte Carlo
simulation and data assimilation. Additionally, SHEMAT-Suite features a multi-level OpenMP parallelization. Along with the source code of the software, extensive documentation and a suite of test models is provided.

SHEMAT-Suite has a modular structure that makes it easy for users to adapt the code to their needs. Most importantly, there is an interface for defining the functional relationship between dynamic variables and subsurface parameters. Additionally, user-defined input and output can be implemented without interfering with the core of the code. Finally, at a deeper level, linear solvers and preconditioners can be added to the code.

We present studies that have made use of the code's HPC capabilities. SHEMAT-Suite has been applied to large-scale groundwater models for a wide range of purposes, including studying the formation of convection cells, assessing geothermal potential below an office building, or modeling submarine groundwater discharge since the last ice age. The modular structure of SHEMAT-Suite has also led to diverse applications, such as glacier modeling, simulation of borehole heat exchangers, or Optimal Experimental Design applied to the placing of geothermal boreholes.

Further, we present ongoing developments for improving the performance of SHEMAT-Suite, both by refactoring the source code and by interfacing SHEMAT-Suite with up-to-date HPC software. Examples of this include interfacing SHEMAT-Suite with the Portable Data Interface (PDI) for improved data management, interfacing SHEMAT-Suite with PetSC for MPI-parallel solvers, and interfacing SHEMAT-Suite with PDAF for parallel EnKF algorithms.

The goal for the open source SHEMAT-Suite is to provide a rigorously tested core code for flow, heat and transport simulation, Bayesian and stochastic inversion, while at the same time enabling a wide range of scientific research through straightforward user interaction.

How to cite: Keller, J., Fink, J., and Klitzsch, N.: SHEMAT-Suite: a parallel open source simulator for flow, heat and mass transport in porous media, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15084,, 2021.

Paromita Deb, Guido Giordano, Xiangyun Shi, Federico Lucci, Christoph Clauser, and Philippe Calcagno

The Los Humeros Volcanic Complex (LHVC) is an active Quaternary caldera system in the Trans Mexican Volcanic Belt, characterized by two major caldera-forming events, Los Humeros (164 000 years ago) and Los Potreros (69 000 years ago). This site is also subjected to numerous episodes of post-caldera bi-modal volcanism during Holocene period (8 000 years – 3 000 years old). The volcanic complex hosts an active geothermal field which has been under commercial exploitation for the last 30 years. Latest geochemical, petrological and geochronological investigations consider the geothermal activity in the LHVC to be the result of an underlying complex magma plumbing system, characterized by numerous short-lived, shallow magma storage zones. Geothermal wells in the LHVC have encountered variable temperatures within depths of 2000 m, ranging from 170 °C at some areas to above 350 °C in the neighboring areas. To explain this anomalous temperature distribution and evaluate the thermal footprint of different volcanic episodes, we reconstructed the thermal history of the LHVC for a period of 182 000 years considering the spatially and temporally-varying nature of the heat sources. Our numerical model is constrained by information of depths, ages and volumes of the magma reservoirs, obtained from the geochemical and thermo-barometric modeling of the erupted material. The simulated present-day temperature state agrees well with the measured temperature data in the Los Humeros geothermal wells and can be used for identifying locations with anomalous temperature distribution. This integrated modeling approach, whereby numerical model is constrained by field-based geochemical information is essential in exploration geothermal fields, where limited borehole data is available, and promising for identifying potential locations of super-hot geothermal fluids.

How to cite: Deb, P., Giordano, G., Shi, X., Lucci, F., Clauser, C., and Calcagno, P.: Thermal modeling in active poly-phased calderas: case study of Los Humeros, Mexico , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15793,, 2021.

Ahmed Hussain, Negar Khoshnevis, Bernard Meulenbroek, Wouter Van der Star, Hans Bruining, Johan Claringbould, Ayla Reerink, and Karl-Heinz Wolf

              When producing heat from a geothermal well, the produced water cools down in the heat exchanger, and experiencing a lower pressure in the surface processing-facility (1 – 10 bar) than in the reservoir (100 – 300 bar). The decrease in pressure may cause gas to come out of solution. This decrease in temperature and degassing of the produced water may cause precipitation and dissolution (mineralization) to occur. After the produced water is cooled down, it is reinjected into the reservoir through an injection well. Mineralization in the reservoir restricts the flow path of the injected water, resulting in reduced injectivity. Consequently, more energy is required by the injection pump, which results in additional costs, and thereby reduces the project’s economic return.            
              When numerically modeling mineralization in a geothermal reservoir, accounting for the reaction kinetics can be computationally expensive. The simulations can be made less expensive by assuming local equilibrium between the reactants and reaction-products; but using this approach might give results that are not in agreement with experimental findings.
              Here we present an analytical model for mineral precipitation in a low-enthalpy geothermal reservoir. We compare the kinetics of the relevant reaction terms with respect to the transport terms (heat and flow) to determine whether the local equilibrium approach (LEA) or kinetics approach (KA) is appropriate for modeling a specific reaction. We focus on the near-wellbore region in the reservoir, where precipitation can behave as a ‘skin’; when assuming radial-flow, precipitation in the near-wellbore region has a more dramatic impact on the injectivity than precipitation further downstream in the reservoir.      
              Using numerical simulations we validate the approach to use different methods of geochemical modelling based on the reaction speed and its potential impact on computation time.
              Based on our analysis on mineralization in the near-wellbore-region, the three different reaction regimes can be distinguished when comparing the time-scale of reaction to the time-scale of transport, viz.: (1) fast reactions (mineralization can be considered instantaneous and modelling these reactions using LEA or KA does not lead to significantly different simulation results); (2) very slow reactions (no significant change in ion concentrations in the region of interest, whether these reactions are modelled using LEA or KA); (3) reaction/transport intermediate zone (using LEA leads to significantly different simulation results compared to KA).
              Accounting for these classifications allows simplification of the current numerical geochemical-models, while still accounting for relevant kinetics of mineralization. This approach was tested using a numerical model of precipitation in a geothermal reservoir.              

How to cite: Hussain, A., Khoshnevis, N., Meulenbroek, B., Van der Star, W., Bruining, H., Claringbould, J., Reerink, A., and Wolf, K.-H.: Modelling Mineral-Scaling in Geothermal Reservoirs Using Both a Local Equilibrium and a Kinetics Approach, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16033,, 2021.

Vitantonio Colucci, Angelo Damone, Giampaolo Manfrida, and Daniele Fiaschi

The emissions associated with Geothermal power plant (GTPP) due to geothermal fluids represents a compelling challenge addressed in the last decades. The on-line measuring of pollutants generated by GTPP might result in a complicated task to handle. Simulation of GTPP has become an excellent tool to monitor and control the emission of pollutants. In the present work, the pollutant emissions of GTPP of Hellisheidi (Island), Chiusdino, and Castelnuovo (Italy) are modelled and developed with Unisim Design R480 using well understood thermodynamical models implemented in OLI. The presence of brine in the thermodynamical models has been taken into account. Carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide are the chemical pollutants considered for the process simulation. The AQ framework model in OLI is being used for binary mixtures and non-condensable gas. Furthermore, for liquid mixtures containing more than two components, the MSE-SRK Thermodynamic model is desirable depending on the original geothermal fluid source. The simulation process outcome agrees with experimental data for pressure between 30 and 100 bar within 5% deviation. A systematic study of the spatial distribution of the emissions has been made for the area surrounding the GTPP. Furthermore, an economic evaluation overview has been performed to highlight the equipment needed for maintenance and tool substitution.

How to cite: Colucci, V., Damone, A., Manfrida, G., and Fiaschi, D.: Thermodynamic modelling and simulation of geothermal power plants: case studies and environmental impact, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16182,, 2021.