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- PublicationAn Overview of Deep Geothermal Energy and Its Potential on the Island of IrelandThis paper provides a short overview of geothermal energy, including a discussion on the key geological controls on heat distribution in the subsurface, and on the different types of geothermal resource and their potential uses. We then discuss the island of Ireland as an example of the role that geothermal energy can play in decarbonising the heat sector in a region characterised by relatively low-enthalpy (temperature) resources. Significant shallow geothermal potential exists across the island via the deployment of ground source heat pumps. The geology of onshore Ireland provides relatively limited potential for deep hydrothermal aquifers with primary porosity and permeability. Therefore, deep geothermal exploration on the island is likely to be focused on fractured carbonate reservoirs of Carboniferous age, with recorded groundwater temperatures reaching 38°C at 1 km depth, or on lower permeability petrothermal reservoirs developed as Enhanced or Advanced Geothermal Systems. The exception to this occurs within Mesozoic basins in Northern Ireland where porous and permeable Permo-Triassic sandstones are preserved beneath Paleogene basalts. Geothermal potential also exists in equivalent basins immediately offshore Ireland. For example, Triassic sandstones within the Kish Bank Basin, a few kilometres off the coast of Dublin, have estimated reservoir temperatures of 20–120°C across the basin.
Scopus© Citations 2 28
- PublicationStructural evolution and the partitioning of deformation during basin growth and inversion: A case study from the Mizen Basin Celtic Sea, offshore IrelandThe Celtic Sea basins lie on the continental shelf between Ireland and northwest France and consist of a series of ENE–WSW trending elongate basins that extend from St George’s Channel Basin in the east to the Fastnet Basin in the west. The basins, which contain Triassic to Neogene stratigraphic sequences, evolved through a complex geological history that includes multiple Mesozoic rift stages and later Cenozoic inversion. The Mizen Basin represents the NW termination of the Celtic Sea basins and consists of two NE–SW-trending half-grabens developed as a result of the reactivation of Palaeozoic (Caledonian, Lower Carboniferous and Variscan) faults. The faults bounding the Mizen Basin were active as normal faults from Early Triassic to Late Cretaceous times. Most of the fault displacement took place during Berriasian to Hauterivian (Early Cretaceous) times, with a NW–SE direction of extension. A later phase of Aptian to Cenomanian (Early to Late Cretaceous) N–S-oriented extension gave rise to E–W-striking minor normal faults and reactivation of the pre-existing basin bounding faults that propagated upwards as left-stepping arrays of segmented normal faults. In common with most of the Celtic Sea basins, the Mizen Basin experienced a period of major erosion, attributed to tectonic uplift, during the Paleocene. Approximately N–S Alpine regional compression-causing basin inversion is dated as Middle Eocene to Miocene by a well-preserved syn-inversion stratigraphy. Reverse reactivation of the basin bounding faults was broadly synchronous with the formation of a set of near-orthogonal NW–SE dextral strike-slip faults so that compression was partitioned onto two fault sets, the geometrical configuration of which is partly inherited from Palaeozoic basement structure. The segmented character of the fault forming the southern boundary of the Mizen Basin was preserved during Alpine inversion so that Cenozoic reverse displacement distribution on syn-inversion horizons mirrors the earlier extensional displacements. Segmentation of normal faults therefore controls the geometry and location of inversion structures, including inversion anticlines and the back rotation of earlier relay ramps.
Scopus© Citations 14 1176