In urban areas the shallow subsurface often is used as a heat resource (so-called shallow geothermal energy), i.e. for the installation and operation of a broad variety of geothermal systems. At the same time, groundwater is increasingly used as a cheap cooling medium, e.g. for buildings. Further impacts like the so-called urban heat island effect also influence the thermal regime in the subsurface. As a result, significantly increased groundwater temperatures have been observed in many urban areas.

This STSM has been a follow-up on a previous STSM by Dr. Jannis Epting to Barcelona, in order to further exploit 2 case study cities (Basel (CH) and Zaragosa (S). Based on these studies, concepts for the management of thermal resources in urban areas have been derived and the transferability of the applied methods to other urban areas is discussed. For both cities, already comprehensive monitor-ing networks (hydraulics and temperature) as well as calibrated high-resolution numerical heat-transport models have been developed by the individual collaboration partners (Epting et al. 2013; Epting and Huggenberger2013; Garcia Gil et al. 2014). This previous work showed that an understanding of the variable influences of hydraulic and thermal boundary conditions due to specific geological and hydrogeological conditions in urban settings is crucial. It also could be shown that good quality data are necessary to appropriately define and investigate thermal boundary conditions and the temperature development in urban systems.

Download the STSM report in pdf format.