Project Description



Budget: 84.746,34 €
Financing: MINECO (50%) & INVOLCAN (50%)
Reference: PTQ-12-05661
Duration: 3 years (2013-2014-2015-2016)
Lead researcher(s): Dra. María Asensio / Dr. Nemesio M. Pérez

Project overview

The main objective of the He-Geothermia project is to conduct a technical feasibility study for the use of ground-surface gas geochemistry on the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, as a novel geochemical technique for geothermal exploration. Geochemical and geophysical surveys are a precondition to the selection of suitable sites for exploratory testing.

The aim is to ascertain the scope for using a novel, simple and low-cost means of conducting preparatory geothermal exploration in areas considered to offer geothermal energy exploitation potential, based on thermal and gas anomalies at the surface, as well as deep underground.

The proposed methods are based on geochemical gas prospection (using helium) in the surface environment of selected areas in Tenerife’s northwest sector and Gran Canaria’s southeast sector. Because of its physical properties (light, inert), helium is an ideal gas for detecting and mapping areas of increased permeability and surfacing of fluids that originate deep underground, which is one of the most interesting indicators of geothermal exploitation potential. The results of this project will advance our understanding of the feasibility of geothermal exploitation in the project’s chosen areas, and will also advance research that could help develop geochemical techniques for determining geothermal exploration potential in other areas of the world.