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Geothermal Potential Across Europe

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Part of the SpringerBriefs in Earth System Sciences book series (BRIEFSEARTHSYST)


This chapter introduces the geothermal conditions in Europe and explains the distribution of geothermally favorable regions. From a geological perspective, Europe is split along an intracontinental suture zone extending from the North Sea to the Black Sea. Geothermal conditions, heat flow, and temperature gradients are higher southwest of the suture zone than northeast of it, which is related to the different ages of the crust in these regions. Consequently, positive geothermal anomalies occur mainly south of the suture zone in regions of active tectonic deformation, for example, in the Rhine Graben or the Pannonian Basin, both of which are known for their hydrothermal reservoirs. However, most geothermal reservoirs in Europe are intracratonic basin-type reservoirs located both southwest and northeast of the suture zone. Due to a high potential in geothermal development, we discuss two of them in detail, the Danish and the Polish Basins. We also give a more detailed overview of the Pannonian Basin with above-average geothermal conditions.


  • Geothermal potential
  • Heat flow
  • Geothermal reservoir distribution
  • Poland
  • Sweden
  • Hungary

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-96870-0_2
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Fig. 2.1

(Limberger and van Wees 2014, used under CC BY 3.0,

Fig. 2.2

Data from Basili et al. (2013), Ziegler and Dèzes (2006), Cloetingh et al. (2010), the European-Mediterranean Earthquake Catalogue (EMEC) (Grünthal and Wahlström 2012), and EMODnet Bathymetry Consortium (2020)

Fig. 2.3

Modified from Buijze et al. (2019), used under CC BY 4.0 ( CB: Cornubian batholith, CF: Carpathian Mountains and Foredeep, IVZ: Iceland Volcanic Zones, MB: Molasse Basin, NGB: North German Basin, NDB: Norwegian-Danish Basin, PAN: Pannonian Basin, PL: Polish Lowlands, RVG: Ruhr Valley Graben, TLG: Tuscany-Latium Geothermal Area, URG: Upper Rhine Graben, WNB: West Netherlands Basin, AB: Aquitaine Basin

Fig. 2.4

Reproduced from Gehlin et al. (2019) with permission from the Geological Survey of Sweden. Right: Tectonic setting of south Sweden in the Danish Basin with location of main fault zones and the TESZ, here termed Sorgenfrei-Tornquist Zone, and cross-section location. The cross section illustrates the transition from the sedimentary succession in the Danish Basin to mostly crystalline rocks towards the NE. The location of the DGE-1 well close to Lund is also marked. Modified from Rosberg and Erlström (2019), used under CC BY 4.0 (

Fig. 2.5
Fig. 2.6

All figures modified from Grad and Polkowski (2016), used under CC BY (

Fig. 2.7
Fig. 2.8
Fig. 2.9

Reprinted from Békési et al. (2018) with permission from Elsevier. See Békési et al. (2018) for more information about the geothermal conditions in the gray boxes as well as the two cross sections. Right: Depth of the 90  \({}^{\circ }\text {C}\) isotherm. Reproduced from Toth (2016) with permission from the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority

Fig. 2.10

Reprinted from Horváth et al. (2015) with permission from Elsevier

Fig. 2.11


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Correspondence to Johanna Fink .

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Fink, J., Heim, E., Klitzsch, N. (2022). Geothermal Potential Across Europe. In: State of the Art in Deep Geothermal Energy in Europe. SpringerBriefs in Earth System Sciences. Springer, Cham.

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