ThermoMap: mapping shallow geothermal potential across Europe
About the ThermoMap Project
The ThermoMap project (2010 – 2013) developed a set of tools to provide information about shallow geothermal (up to 10m) systems and map its potential across Europe. The project harmonised pre-existing data sets relating to geological, hydrogeological, soil, climate and relief geodata with standarised methods, and and then used the data to build an open source web GIS that everyone can use to check the vSGP in a certain area. Samples were taken from fourteen test areas in nine different countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Romania and the UK.
Very shallow geothermal systems can be very cost efficient with fast payback times. In addition, the installation and operation of these systems is not as restricted as with deeper, vertical systems. Despite all this, until recent years there was not much information available on horizontal systems and superficial resources. Even if some data did exist, much of it was not available to the public.
Two tools – the ThermoMap Viewer and the ThermoMap Calculator – were created with the objective of disseminating all the data collected in an easily accessible way for public authorities, companies and end users. These useful tools provide an estimation of very Shallow Geothermal Potential (vSGP) across Europe.
The ThermoMap project was funded by the FP7 ICT-PSP.
Introduction to the ThermoMap Viewer and the ThermoMap Calculator
The visualising of the very shallow geothermal potential is facilitated by using a specially developed WebGIS service with distributed data sources and its interface, the Open-Source MapViewer.
The ThermoMap MapViewer is intended for the public, for planners and engineers, public bodies and scientists, to give them an overview (European Outline Map) and more detailed informa¬tion and usable data about the local shallow geothermal conditions in selected test sites across Europe (Test Areas). Private users may check the potential of their residential district, community planning and administration authorities may test the geothermal potential of their en¬tire administrative unit.
The ThermoMap WebGIS follows the principles and concepts of a distributed Spat¬ial Data Infrastructure. The databases are located on the several partner servers. The technology used for providing the data as Web Map Services in the Test Areas is different (e.g. Open-Source GeoServer, ESRI ArcGIS Server), but the data structure and compliancy to OGC standards (Open Geospatial Consortium) to retrieve the required informati¬on are precisely predetermined.
As one of the main principles the MapViewer is tailored to the project requirements and intends not to be a complex GIS expert application. The focus concentrates on bringing together the distributed data sources, zooming to areas of interest and ge5ng meaningful, interpreted and compiled information of a certain map location.
A special query tool was developed that displays interpreted information (in the ‘vSGP Infobox’) which can also be printed as a Local Information Sheet enriched with map details and diagrams (‘Report’).
As the ThermoMap test areas are exemplary case studies, for the majority of locations the data output is only a first rough estimation of the very Shallow Geothermal Potential, since the European Outline Map is based only on available area-wide data of very generalised quality. However, if detailed external data exists, for example from a local subsoil analysis or drill hole descriptions, there is a new possibility to improve the estimation results. The vSGP Calculator is intended to enhance existing data or generate new data.
The incorporated calculation function loads all available data from the European Outline Map for a specified map point to the calculator. The user can utilise the existing data or replace or amend it with their own data. In general, the processing standards defined by the ThermoMap consortium are reproduced for a single map point calculating the vSGP with this tool. With the new calculated results an individual report as output can be printed. The calculator is accessible from the European Outline Map. (http://thermomap.edu-zgis.net) Compared to the accuracy level of the European Outline Map, the calculator offers the possibility to reach at least the same or even a greater level of accuracy as in the Test Areas for a single map location.
The vSGP Calculator is also accessible outside of the MapViewer for calculating the vSGP in non-european countries; in this case no values are pre-filled, and the address has to be specified by the user for the overview map in the individual report