Geothermal Resources of European Continent: A Regional Assessment

Keywords: Geothermal Resources, Regional Assessment, European Continent


A regional assessment of geothermal resources of the continental region of Europe is attempted in the present work. It is based on results of observational data on heat transfer by conduction as well as hydrothermal and magmatic processes in the upper crust and makes use of geothermal data reported at the website of IHFC and also estimates based on available information on occurrences thermal springs and volcanic events. The resource assessment has been carried out for 8109 sites distributed in 39 countries. These datasets were reevaluated and spatially gridded using kigrid interpolation to construction of regional distribution maps of geothermal resources and interpreted on the basis of available information on tectonic setting and geological characteristics. The estimates for volcanic areas are based on a modified method of magmatic heat budget (MHB). has been employed in deriving estimates of geothermal resources in areas of recent volcanic activity. According to results obtained the total resource base (RB) at 6km on depth is estimated to be 8.653.306 ± 7 GJ. The mean resource base per unit area (RBUA) is ~ 985 GJ. The prominent features in geothermal maps are the presence of localities with significantly high values of resource base greater than 2000 GJ in countries such as Russia, Italy, Iceland, and west Norway. In addition, vertical distributions of temperatures were calculated in for depths reaching down to 6 km. The results obtained indicate potential availability of high temperature resources in vast regions of the European continent.