Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 72, Issue 5, pp 1383–1401 | Cite as

Subsurface thermal conductivity assessment in Calabria (southern Italy): a regional case study

  • Eloisa Di SipioEmail author
  • Antonio Galgaro
  • Elisa Destro
  • Giordano Teza
  • Sergio Chiesa
  • Aurelio Giaretta
  • Adele Manzella
Thematic Issue


Determining the suitability of a local area at a regional or local scale for the geothermal application of low enthalpy systems requires the knowledge of rock thermal conductivity values to evaluate the possibility of low-enthalpy heat exchange. A digital cartographic tool is also needed to synthesize the thermal properties of the underground. This tool should be easily accessible and upgradeable and thus suitable for territorial planning and environmental control. In order to address these key issues, a methodological approach was developed within the framework of the national VIGOR Project, dedicated to evaluating the geothermal potential in southern Italy. In this paper the region of Calabria was selected as a case study. Around 70 samples that were representative of the main geological formations were collected from all over the area. Thermal property tests were carried out both in dry and wet conditions, using a thermal device in accordance with the modified transient plane source method. The thermal conductivity values were then compared with data from the international literature. In order to consider the influence of the entire stratigraphic sequence on the thermal conductivity parameters, a geostatistical analysis of the available lithostratigraphic data was performed using the MATLAB toolbox Modalstrata, specially developed for this purpose. A comprehensive geothermal subsurface characterization of Calabria was thus obtained.


Shallow geothermal energy Thermal conductivity GIS Geological formations Southern Italy 



This research was performed within the framework of the VIGOR Project aimed at assessing the geothermal potential and exploring geothermal resources of four regions in southern Italy. VIGOR is part of the activities of the Interregional Programme Renewable Energies and Energy Savings FESR 2007–2013—Axes I Activity line 1.4 “Experimental Actions in Geothermal Energy”. The authors acknowledge the management of the VIGOR Project and in particular Dr. Piezzo of MiSE-DGENRE (Directorate General for Nuclear Energy. Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency of the Ministry for Economic Development) and Dr. Brugnoli. Director of CNR-DTA (National Research Council of Italy, Department of Sciences of the Earth System and Environmental Technologies).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eloisa Di Sipio
    • 1
    Email author
  • Antonio Galgaro
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elisa Destro
    • 1
  • Giordano Teza
    • 2
  • Sergio Chiesa
    • 3
  • Aurelio Giaretta
    • 1
  • Adele Manzella
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Geosciences and Earth ResourcesNational Research Council (IGG-CNR)PaduaItaly
  2. 2.Department of GeosciencesUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly
  3. 3.Institute for the Dynamics of Environmental ProcessesNational Research Council (IDPA-CNR)DalmineItaly
  4. 4.Institute of Geosciences and Earth ResourcesNational Research Council (IGG-CNR)PisaItaly

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