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

The shallow subsurface characterization in relation to geothermal resources in the Mallow area, Ireland, using passive seismic and gravity data inversion

Meysam Rezaeifar1, Christopher J. Bean1, Duygu Kiyan1, Brian O’Reilly1, Colin Hogg1, Patrick Meere4, Javier Fullea1,2, Sergei Lebedev1,3, Tao Ye1, Emma L. Chambers1, Aisling Scully4, Gaurav Tomar1, and the DIG team*
Meysam Rezaeifar et al.
  • 1Geophysics Section, School of Cosmic Physics, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Dublin, Ireland (
  • 2Department of Physics of the Earth and Astrophysics, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 3Department of Earth Science, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 4School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

One key aim of the DIG (De-risking Ireland’s Geothermal Energy Potential) project is to determine and evaluate the potential low-enthalpy geothermal resources at reservoir scale in the Mallow warm springs area (MWSA), by performing a joint interpretation of new and existing geophysical, geochemical and petrophysical datasets together with structural geology and hydrochemistry results.

As a first step, based on the ambient detected noise sources in the study area, about 100 seismic stations (5Hz nodes) were deployed for two weeks along the railway, straddling fault structures that are thought to control hot spring fluid flow in the Mallow area. We performed seismic interferometry imaging on the recorded train-induced vibrations to map shallow subsurface (top ~2 km) structures and to extract the physical properties (e.g. seismic velocity and density) of these structures. Preliminary result shows a good correlation between S-wave velocity variation and the near-surface lateral changes of lithology, especially across the Killarney-Mallow Fault Zone (KMFZ).

In the next step, 2D interactive modeling of the gravity data was performed, using physical properties determined from the previous step to constrain shallow structures. Additionally, we used the result from the receiver function method that is applied to the data recorded by four broadband stations in the study area, in order to better constrain the deeper interfaces. The 2D inversion of gravity data reveals an anomalous zone in the vicinity of the KMFZ that could be related to the possible fault conduit, associated with the Mallow warm springs area.

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.

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: Rezaeifar, M., Bean, C. J., Kiyan, D., O’Reilly, B., Hogg, C., Meere, P., Fullea, J., Lebedev, S., Ye, T., Chambers, E. L., Scully, A., and Tomar, G. and the DIG team: The shallow subsurface characterization in relation to geothermal resources in the Mallow area, Ireland, using passive seismic and gravity data inversion, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-9144,, 2023.