WP-D  –  New Frontiers in Geosciences
(Geoheritage and Geothermal Energy)


Training sessions for geoheritage cover several main topics:
  • Inventories, including geoheritage identification and assessment and geoheritage created by human activity
  • Legislation
  • Geoconservation via management plans, restoration etc
  • Public outreach, geotourism, local socio-economic development and the UNESCO Geopark label
  • Role of Geological Surveys in the protection of geological heritage which is a non-renewable resource
  • Ideally, each trainee will prepare and present a Return-to-Work project. The project would be the short-term (6-12 months) application of their newly acquired skills to an area of interest to their own Geological Survey e.g. organising a feedback meeting within their own geological survey to raise awareness among their colleagues about Geo-heritage or geothermal energy issues

Geothermal energy

Training sessions for SHALLOW geothermal energy cover several main topics:
  • Shallow geothermal energy – introduction and definitions
  • Examples of use of shallow geothermal energy – overview of good practices
  • Basics of ground source heat pump technology
  • Renewable heating and cooling of buildings
  • New developments in shallow geothermal energy – thermoactive foundation elements (geothermal piles, diaphragm walls, foundation slabs, energy tunnels)
  • Design of borehole heat exchangers (BHE) – dimensioning of geothermal field
  • Formal aspects of BHE design – legal acts, guidelines, international databases, etc
  • Thermal Response Test – method for in-situ evaluation of performance of borehole heat exchangers and a tool for optimisation of shallow geothermal energy system
  • Shallow geothermal potential mapping – GIS tools, databases, workflows
  • Environmental hazards and shallow geothermal energy systems. Interaction of borehole heat exchangers with groundwater bodies
  • Thermal conductivity of soils and rocks – in situ and laboratory testing methods;
  • Legislative aspects – legal acts, guidelines on drilling for shallow geothermal heat pumps and decommissioning of wells, international databases, etc
  • Transboundary resources and their management
  • Using open-source GIS software, geological profile reclassification will be performed with additional presentation of finalised shallow geothermal potentia
Training sessions for DEEP geothermal energy cover several main topics:
  • Deep geothermal energy – introduction and definitions (Geothermal systems and plays, hydrogeological aspects and reservoir delineation, hydrogeochemistry of geothermal fluids, Thermal properties of rocks and sediments)
  • Mapping of deep geothermal potential using GIS tools and workflows for mapping, QA/QC of data, statistical analyses, databases of objects and energy use
  • Technology of exploitation including geothermal heat production, geothermal electricity production, overview of good practices in utilisation
  • Environmental aspects covering hazards of utilisation and mitigation of overexploitation, design of monitoring systems and their interpretation
  • Legislative aspects with management of transboundary resources
WP-D aims to fulfil the overall and specific objectives by:
  • Tackling climate change based on geothermal energy (low CO2 emissions technology and renewable energy), and by contributing to a more sustainable management of natural resources thanks to geoconservation concepts
  • Including fieldwork and the development of case studies with practical exercises to apply theoretical concepts learnt during the indoor phase of the course
  • Working in close collaboration to develop detailed training material which are both generic and specific to the field study areas/countries
  • Contributing to, or initiating an institutional strengthening by creating African expert groups. Once sensitized to these topics, African Geological Surveys can consider developing geoheritage and/or geothermal energy activities.
  • Providing opportunities for dialogue and networking between all participants, trainees and trainers, Europeans and Africans, building relationships at individual, national and continental levels
WP-D is led by PGI in cooperation with LNEG (training in Portuguese), BRGM (training in French), ISPRA, GeoZS, IGME and support of LGT as well as with the technical and scientific assistance of African Geological Surveys.
Stanisław Wołkowicz
Polish Geological Institute-National Research Institute (PGI-NRI)