EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Magnetotelluric investigation of the geothermal resources of South-West Ireland: DIG Project

Tao Ye1, Kiyan Duygu1, Brian O’Reilly1, Patrick Meere4, Colin Hogg1, Javier Fullea1,2, Christopher Bean1, Sergei Lebedev1,3, Emma Chambers1, Meysam Rezaeifar1, Gaurav Tomar1, Aisling Scully4, and the DIG team*
Tao Ye et al.
  • 1Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS), Geophysics section, The School of Cosmic Physics, Dublin 2, Ireland (,
  • 2Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Department of Physics of the Earth and Astrophysics, Madrid, Spain
  • 3University of Cambridge, Department of Earth Science, UK
  • 4University College Cork, School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Cork, Ireland
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

The DIG (De-risking Ireland’s Geothermal Energy Potential) project aims to better understand Ireland’s low-enthalpy geothermal energy potential by integrating inter-disciplinary and multi-scale datasets (Kiyan et al., 2022; Chambers et al., 2022). One aim of the project is to evaluate the geothermal energy potential of the Upper Devonian Munster Basin within the Variscides of southern Ireland. A more specific objective is to focus on the Mallow warm springs area (MWSA) which is sited along the Killarney-Mallow Fault Zone (KMFZ).

Two parallel magnetotelluric (MT) profiles have been deployed across the east-northeast trending KMFZ in the MWSA since November 2021 to directly image fault conduits and fluid aquifer sources at depth, within a convective/conductive region associated with the known occurrence of warm thermal 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 local-scale survey locality.

To eliminate the electromagnetic noise from the acquired MT time-series data, we have made efforts to improve the data quality by not only using the new generation Phoenix Geophysics MTU-5C systems but also processing these time-series data with two different processing software; (i.e., FFProc, an improved multivariate robust statistical data processing software (Castro et al., 2021) and EMPower, a commercial remote-reference software from Phoenix Geophysics).

The 2-D inversion of these data reveals a striking vertical fault conductor zone (FCZ) extending to depths of at least 4 km beneath the KMFZ. The corresponding 3-D inversion model for these data along the two profiles further confirms the existence of the FCZ. Based on our preliminary results, we propose that the KMFZ is probably the main fault conduit associated with the Mallow warm springs area and the FCZ delineates the fluid pathways associated with the fault zone.

DIG team:

The listed authors of this abstract and: Stephen Daly (University College Dublin, Ireland), Ben Mather (University of Sydney, Australia), Huda Mohamed (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Ireland), Mark Muller (Geophysical Consultant, UK), Riccardo Pasquali (Geothermal Association of Ireland), Nicola Piana-Agostinetti (University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy), Jan Vozar (Earth Science Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia), John Weatherill (University College Cork, Ireland)

How to cite: Ye, T., Duygu, K., O’Reilly, B., Meere, P., Hogg, C., Fullea, J., Bean, C., Lebedev, S., Chambers, E., Rezaeifar, M., Tomar, G., and Scully, A. and the DIG team: Magnetotelluric investigation of the geothermal resources of South-West Ireland: DIG Project, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-10339,, 2023.