About us

MOD3LTHERM (MODelling the 3D thermal and Lithospheric Structure of geoTHERMal regions) is a new project which aims to develop new workflows to assess the geothermal potential of regions worldwide.

The project builds on recent pilot work in geophysical estimation of deep sub-surface temperatures in a low enthalpy environment (Ireland, Chambers et al. 2023). Two core weaknesses in the previous approach were limited lithological constraints and no independent control on the results. We are developing a new joint geophysical-petrological-lithological inversion scheme by adapting two separate modelling codes, WINTERC and LitMod3D (Fullea et al., 2021 & 2009), and modify to full 3D models for all available datasets. This new workflow will relate newly available velocity and geophysical information to rock type and then predicts the geophysical- petrological-lithological response for different lithologies under variable thermal conditions and determines the geothermal gradients.

We will test the methodology for two case studies. 1. An all-Ireland low-enthalpy environment building on previous work of the DIG project by adding a newly acquired seismic dataset from Northern Ireland (GRANNUS DOI: 10.7914/c39w-b345) with new thermal conductivity measurements of Irish rocks. 2. A local (km) scale high-enthalpy study with known geothermal resources (Krafla), to test the methodology and integrate melt into the methodology. The main applications are to quantify Ireland’s deep geothermal potential, and use the new workflows as a resource to investigate geothermal regions, worldwide.

The MOD3LTHERM and GRANNUS projects are funded  under the SFI-IRC Pathway Programme 22/PATHS/10676 and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland under the SEAI Research and Development & Demonstration Funding Programme 2022, Grant number 2022/RDD/782.