Geothermal energy is a renewable and eco-compatible resource suitable for base-load power and thermal production, which means a daily continuous energy production. In the past few years this source has been of interest for governments, companies and research institutes worldwide that are working for the increase of geothermal exploitation with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuels consumption. Italy was the first country (in 1913) where geothermal energy was exploited for industrial power production and is now the sixth-largest geothermal electricity producer in the world (Bertani, 2015). The geothermal potential of Italy, both for power production and direct uses, is really huge due to particular geological conditions; elsewhere it is mostly underexploited for non-technical barriers. In Italy, many industrial and scientific exploration pro¬jects have been carried out in the last few years for assessing shallow and deep geothermal resources. ElectroMagnetic (EM) methods play a fundamental role in the geothermal exploration due to particular sensitivity of the subsurface electrical resistivity (hereby resistivity) to hydro¬thermal circulation, thermal regime and rocks alteration. Many papers have been published on the study of geothermal areas by EM methods worldwide (Meju, 2002; Spichak and Manzella, 2009; Muñoz, 2014 and references therein). In this paper, we propose an updated state-of-the-art of the main electromagnetic and direct current methods for geother¬mal exploration in Italy, describing innovative case studies and including a discussion about the direction of new researches. The Magnetotellurics (MT) represents the most common and effective method for investigating deep geothermal res¬ervoirs. A case study in southern Tuscany is herein described. We will also focus the attention on the resistivity measure¬ments for shallow geothermal exploration by means of Airborne EM (AEM), Transient or Time Domain EM (TEM or TDEM) and Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT). Among the various scientific projects for geothermal exploration that the Italian National Research Council (CNR) carried out, the VIGOR project (evaluation of the geothermal potential of Regions of Convergence) for Southern Italy provided the occasion of detailed geoelectro¬magnetic studies for assessing shallow and deep geothermal resources (Manzella et al. 2013a, VIGOR website). Some cases study of the VIGOR project are briefly described as: i) the innovative application of Airborne EM data acquired over large areas in Sicily and applied to the assessment of shallow geothermal potential and ii) a Deep Electrical Resistivity Tomography (DERT) acquired on a thermal area in Calabria region.
|Titolo:||Electromagnetic and DC methods for geothermal exploration in Italy – case studies and future developments|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|
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