Pilot area activities – #4 Geothermal data collection in Cork City, Ireland

Taly Hunter Williams, 19 December 2019

Gathering geochemical and temperature measurements from aquifers in Cork City with the aim to identify potential shallow geothermal energy resources

Geological Survey Ireland conducted a groundwater investigation in Cork City (25-28 November 2019) to assess the geochemistry and temperature characteristics of the Pleistocene Sand and Gravel, Carboniferous Limestone, and Devonian Old Red Sandstone aquifers (Figure 1). The objective was to compare results with data collected from the same wells in April 2019, to expand on current datasets with new survey locations and to better understand the shallow geothermal energy potential.

To sample groundwater from the wells, clean plastic tubing was inserted into each borehole and attached to a pump. Water was filtered and collected in sample bottles for laboratory analysis. A dip-metre was used to collect information such as water level, well-depth and temperature measurements at discrete intervals (Figure 2).

In suitable wells, a fibre-optic distributed temperature sensor (Figure 3) was used to produce an accurate and continuous temperature profile with depth. The results will help us understand how the chemistry and temperature of these aquifers vary through the year, and how this might affect their geothermal energy potential.

For more information about the survey, please contact:
Taly Hunter Williams, taly.hunterwilliams@gsi.ie

Figure 1 – Geological and hydrogeological Map of Cork City and its respective bedrock units and sand and gravel aquifers.
Figure 2 – Using a dip metre to collect temperature measurements and water levels.
Figure 3 – Distributed temperature sensor (black box, middle-right) connected to optical fibre cable reel.

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