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Advances in the modeling of the Iberian thermal lithosphere and perspectives on deep geothermal studies

AuthorsTorné, Montserrat CSIC ORCID ; Jimenez-Munt, Ivone CSIC ORCID ; Negredo, Ana M. CSIC ORCID; Fullea, J. CSIC ORCID; Vergés, Jaume CSIC ORCID ; Marzán, Ignacio ; Alcalde, Juan CSIC ORCID ; Gómez-Rivas, Enrique; García de la Noceda, C.
KeywordsIntegrated geophysical–petrological numerical modelling
Temperature distribution in the Iberian crust
Radiogenic heat production
Thermal conductivity
Geothermal potential
Issue Date2023
PublisherSpringer Nature
CitationGeothermal Energy 11: 3 (2023)
AbstractRenewable energy sources are key to achieve the transition toward clean energy system. Among them, the geothermal energy has a production whose effectiveness requires sufficient understanding of the temperature distribution and fluid circulation at depth, as well as of the lithological and petrophysical properties of the crust. The focus of this paper is twofold: first, we summarize the main advances in the development of new methodologies and numerical codes to characterize the properties of the thermal lithosphere in terms of its, temperature, density and composition; second, based on the compilation of available thermal modelling results, we present the depth of the thermal Lithosphere–Asthenosphere Boundary (LAB) of the Iberian Peninsula and the temperature distribution at crustal depths of 5, 10, and 20 km, in addition to at Moho level. At 5 km depth, the temperature is above 110 °C with local anomalies (> 130 °C) located in the Iberian Massif and Cenozoic volcanic provinces. A similar pattern is observed at 10 and 20 km depth, where temperatures are above 190 °C and 350 °C, respectively. At 20 km depth, anomalies above > 500 °C, delineate the SE and NE Cenozoic volcanic provinces. At Moho depths, temperature ranges from 450 to 800 °C with hot regions mainly located along the Iberian Massif and the SE and NE volcanic provinces. The compiled results do not show any lithospheric anomaly that could give rise to high temperatures at shallow depths, but they do show an acceptable exploitation potential at intermediate depths. With regard to the direct use of district and greenhouse heating and for industrial processes, the potential is great throughout the Peninsula, the main challenges being the availability of groundwater and drilling costs.
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