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BGS’s Glasgow geothermal research lab plans approved

The British Geological Survey (BGS) has said that Glasgow City Council and South Lanarkshire Council have approved its plans to develop a geothermal research observatory in the east end of the city.

Work on the Glasgow Geothermal Energy Research Field Site is set to start this autumn and is one of two planned under the £31M UK Geoenergy Observatories investment led by the Natural Environment Research Council and BGS.

The BGS has said that the Glasgow facility will enable the UK science community to study the geothermal environment just below the Earth’s surface. Research at the observatory aims to contribute to an understanding of the potential for warm water in disused coal mines to be used for renewable heat

BGS Scotland Lyell Centre co-director Tracy Shimmield said: “This investment will further our understanding of how our former industrial legacy could be utilised to help support Scotland’s heat demands in the future. The Glasgow Geothermal Energy Research Field Site will enable us to better understand this environment, its characteristics and the potential for warm water within our disused coal mines to be used practically as a source of renewable heat.”

The field site will feature a number of boreholes of various depths, which will enable research into the area’s geology, underground water systems and the potential for mine water geothermal heat. Measurements will be taken from the boreholes, such as temperature, water movement and water chemistry. Environmental baseline monitoring of near-surface chemistry, gases and waters will also be measured.

The observatory will be open to the whole of the UK science community to undertake research. Continuous data from state-of-the-art sensors will feed from the boreholes to an online portal that will be open, free and accessible to the public, government, regulators, academia, and industry.

The observatory is expected to be operational for a 15 year period.

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