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Calculated temperature model at the top of the Sherwood Sandstone in the Cheshire Basin

Science Central borehole drilled in the centre of Newcastle in the summer of 2011

BritGeothermal is a mechanism for technical collaboration and cooperation in geothermal research within the UK.

It aims to develop a greater understanding of UK geothermal resources and to research their exploitation so that geothermal energy can become part of the energy mix.

The principal objectives of BritGeothermal are:

  • to create a virtual geothermal research centre
  • to actively collaborate and cooperate in geothermal research
  • to seek out new sources of funding for geothermal research
  • to create a common portal for the promotion and communication of geothermal research
  • to provide a unified voice in championing geothermal energy to government and commerce

Who is involved

The initial partners are the University of Glasgow, the British Geological Survey, the University of Durham and the University of Newcastle. It is hoped that as research projects develop others will join.

Current research

A number of research projects are already underway, including:

  • The Science Central borehole in the centre of Newcastle, which at 1800 m is the deepest geothermal well drilled for nearly 30 years! The well has intersected 377 m of the Carboniferous Fell Sandstone Formation at a depth 1419 m. Temperatures of 73 °C indicate a geothermal gradient of 36°C km-1, well above the UK average. Research is continuing on the potential yield of the reservoirs and the origins of the geothermal waters.
  • Detailed investigations of the Hot Sedimentary Aquifers (HSAs), examining new data from hydrocarbon wells and synergies between the onshore and offshore.
  • Determining the geothermal potential of old mine workings and how this large resource can be practically exploited (for example the Heat energy beneath Glasgow)
  • New algorithms and data sets for correcting heat flow for palaeoclimate and topography that will enable more accurate predictions of temperature at depth.


For further information please contact Dr Jonathan Busby.