Geosciences for risk and environment management
Study-unit Code
Geosciences for environmental sustainability
Carlo Cardellini
  • Carlo Cardellini
  • 57 ore - Carlo Cardellini
Course Regulation
Coorte 2023
Learning activities
Attività formative affini o integrative
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Opzionale (Optional)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
Heat flow and geothermal energy exploitation.

Geodynamics and global distribution of geothermal systems.

Types and structure of geothermal systems, characteristics of geothermal fluids.

Prospection of geothermal resources.
Reference texts
Lecture notes
Educational objectives
The main objective of the course is to describe the different typologies of geothermal systems and their relationships with geodynamics and the methods for prospection with particular reference to the fluids geochemistry.

Main knowledge acquired (knowledge and understanding) will be:

- history of geothermal energy;
- the origin of geothermal heat
- types of geothermal systems, their geodynamic setting and their potential exploitation;
- methods of geothermal prospecting (geochemical, geological and geophysical).

The main skills (the ability to apply the acquired knowledge) will be:

- the ability to describe a geothermal system;
- sampling and analysing geothermal fluids, measuring diffuse degassing from soils and data analysis;
- the ability to apply chemical geothermometers.
Fundaments in basic geochemistry
Teaching methods
Theoretical lessons and practical training
The lectures will take place as face-to-face lecture for many of the arguments with exception of practical training on the use of geostatistics software dedicated to processing (mapping) of the geological and geochemical data.
Other information
lectures time available at:
Learning verification modality
The evaluation is organized in two Progress assessments during the lectures or a final exam if the Progress assessments are not passed

Progress assessments:

- number of tests that are taken into account: 2
- objective test: Assessment of the main concepts and their applications
- mode of administration: Multiple choice written exam
- timing of development: half term assessment and final assessment
- Duration of the assessment: 1 hour
- type: written in stimulus ended and closed-ended
- measurement of the final exam: vote of thirty

Final exam:

- number of tests that are taken into account: 1
- objective test: Assessment of the main concepts and their applications
- mode of administration: Oral exams
- Duration of the assessment: about 30 minutes
- type: open questions
- exam: vote of thirty
Extended program
What is geothermal energy? History of geothermal energy.

The origin of geothermal heat.

Heat flow, geothermal gradient and related measurements.

Types and structure of geothermal systems.

Geodynamics and global distribution of geothermal systems.

Exploitation of high to medium enthalpy geothermal systems.

Exploitation of low enthalpy geothermal systems.

Prospection of geothermal resources: geochemical and geophysical methods.

Chemical and physical characteristics of geothermal fluids: indication for the nature of the surrounding rock, geothermometry and geobarometry, reconstruction of the fluid history, optimisation of the exploitation of the reservoir in short and long term prospection, mineral precipitation and permeability variations, prediction of potential problems with corrosion.

Environmental impact of geothermal energy exploitation.
Obiettivi Agenda 2030 per lo sviluppo sostenibile
7 - Energia Pulita e accessibile

13 - agire per il clima
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