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Geoindex – Deep geothermal energy

Assessment of deep geothermal energy potential in Catalonia

Deep geothermal includes the energy resources of low (30-100 ºC), medium (100-150 ºC) and high-temperature (> 150ºC). It is a renewable and non-polluting energy resource that has a high potential for exploitation in various areas throughout Catalonia. Depending on the type and origin of the reservoir (shallow hydrothermal aquifers, deep hot sedimentary aquifers, EGS enhanced geothermal systems, etc.) it can be directly used for thermal leisure uses in balneotherapy, in urban district heating networks, greenhouses or industry in a broad sense or even to power production. The use of deep geothermal resources in the EU is in full expansion in countries such as France, Germany, Switzerland or Belgium, among others.

The GIS viewer Geoindex - Deep geothermal aims to be a product for the dissemination of knowledge about deep geothermal potential in Catalonia. The works will build on outcomes from the accomplished project: Geothermal Atlas of Catalonia (AGC) (IGC, 2012) carried out with the support of the Catalan Energy Institute and the collaboration of IGME, IDAE and CSIC.

Project goals

The main objective of the new project Deep geothermal (low, medium and high temperature) is to advance towards the quantification of deep geothermal potential in terms of the available and recoverable base energy resource in specific areas identified in the AGC (IGC, 2012). The works will combine new data acquisition (i.eg. geophysics, rock sampling) and the application of 3D modelling techniques using a probabilistic approach to carry out an assessment of the geothermal resources. At the end, the UNFC-2009 classification scheme (United Nations Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources 2009 of the Geothermal Energy Resources) will be applied.

The project will deliberate models and maps in order to contribute to the improvement of the knowledge of this energy resource as a renewable energy source in Catalonia. The viewer will become the channel for disseminating project results.

• Viewer legend of Geoindex - Deep geothermal energy [PDF, 526 kB; catalan]

WMS Geothermics

This geoinformation can be used online in your applications supporting the WMS protocol

More information

Geothermal as a geological resource

Geothermal Atlas of Catalonia (IGC, 2012)


The Geothermal Atlas of Catalonia project consisted on four phases of work:

Step 0: Compilation of documentation and analysis

  • Drafting and signing of the different agreements that frame the execution and coordination of the project (IGME, IDAE, ICAEN).
  • Compilation and analysis of existing information.
  • Signing of the agreement between the Geological Institute of Catalonia (IGC) and the Jaume Almera Institute of Earth Sciences (CSIC) for the analysis of the data.

Step 1: Data homogenization, updating and adaptation and generation of complementary information

  • Reconversion of the data format.
  • Analysis and update of the available data.
  • Generation of maps.

Step 2: Creation of a New GIS database

  • Data collection and homogenization.
  • Digitalization of previous maps.

Fase 3: Generación de servicios y creación del Atles de Geotèrmia de Catalonia

  • Generación de geoservicios WMS.
  • Descripción de los metadatos.
  • Publicación del visor en el sitio web del ICGC.

Step 3: Publication of new web services and GIS viewer

  • Web services generation
  • Metadata description
  • Geothermal viewer publication at the ICGC web

Datasets structure 

The project was structured in about 20 layers at scale 1: 500,000 divided in 4 main thematic groups: 

Geological context

The heat that reaches the surface from the inside of the Earth depends on several factors, so knowing the structure and the thickness of the lithosphere is essential to know the thermal system of Catalonia. Therefore, it is necessary to know the main characteristics of the deep geological structures to interpret the thermal data that we obtain on the surface and the thermal anomalies more accurately.

The layers included in this thematic group are:

  • Geology
  • Fracture zones
  • Depth to the top of  Palaeozoic basement
  • Regional Bouguer anomaly
  • Residual Bouguer anomaly
  • Thickness of the earth's crust
  • Thickness of the lithosphere

Geothermal context

Based on the knowledge of the main lithospheric parameters the heat transport was analysed. By using a numerical model which assumes local isostasy, several layers of theoretical temperatures between 3 and 15 km deep and at the base of the earth’s crust were estimated. Additionally, temperatures at 100 m deep were calculated from direct measures in wells. Thermal parameters and their distribution were also analysed and mapped.

The layers included in this thematic group are:

  • Temperatures at the bottom of the earth’s crust
  • Temperatures at 15 km deep
  • Temperatures at 7 km deep
  • Temperatures at 3 km deep
  • Temperatures at 100 m deep
  • Thermal conductivity
  • Geothermal gradient
  • Heat flux

Superficial temperatures

In order to evaluate the geothermal heat pumps performance, several layers have been developed in which the average air temperature is compared with the temperature measured at a depth of 100 m.

The layers included in this thematic group are:

  • Average air temperature (*)
  • Thermal seasonal amplitude(*)
  • Thermal difference between temperatures at 100 m deep and summer average air temperatures (*)
  • Thermal difference between temperatures at 100 m deep and winter average air temperatures (*)

Geothermal potential of Catalonia

Based on geological, hydrogeological and geothermal superficial evidences (such as thermal manifestations) areas with deep geothermal potential in Catalonia has been mapped.

The layers included in this thematic group are:

  • Deep geothermal potential areas
  • Groundwater flows
  • Ground Source Heat Pumps installations (*)

(*) Note: These layers are no longer displayed in the Geoindex - Deep geothermal. The month of December 2018 have been updated by modifying the calculation methodology and / or adding new contents. Since these layers refer to surface geothermal (or very low temperature <30 ºC), the new versions are only published through the viewer Geoindex – Shallow geothermal.

Project carried out with the collaboration of: