BGS expertise on the heat energy beneath Glasgow

A 3D representation of a minewater-related ground source heat reservoir

The BGS can assist developers considering ground source heating or cooling. We hold comprehensive datasets describing the geology, hydrogeology and mining history of the UK.

Our detailed 3D models of the Glasgow area enable us to provide excellent predictions of the deposits that might be encountered when drilling.

BGS hydrogeologists can advise on likely groundwater abstraction and reinjection rates, and model thermal breakthrough times.

By reducing the uncertainty in drilling and water yields we can improve outcomes for ground source heating and cooling schemes.

Can you predict the depth of mine workings at any location?

BGS staff have interpreted over 50 000 borehole records from the Glasgow area and records of abandoned mines dating back to 1839. Together with data from other disparate sources, these have been synthesised into detailed 3D geological models which enable us to predict the geology and depths of abandoned mineworkings beneath any point in central Glasgow.

Could ground source heat contribute significantly to heating Glasgow?

Government figures for total gas and electricity use for Glasgow in 2007 amount to about 50 GWh/km2 year. Not all of this would be for heating; so 20 GWh/km2/year from ground source heat could contribute at least 40 per cent of Glasgow's heating demand.

How much energy is held in Glasgow's abandoned mines?

The heat stored in the rocks and minewaters under Glasgow, to a depth of 300 m, is very large (about 2000  GWh/km2) — but not all of this heat can be extracted.

We have used our 3D geological models to estimate that about 1 per cent of the heat available (20 GWh/km2year) can be removed each year, which could provide Glasgow with a low-carbon source of energy for at least 100 years.

Contact

Contact Dr Jon Busby or Dr Diarmad Campbell