Geochemistry in the Development of Geothermal Resources

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2024 | Viewed by 275

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Calabria, Rende, Italy
Interests: origin and evolution of fluids in geothermal areas; water geochemistry; isotopic geochemistry; environmental geochemistry; geothermobarometry; water-rock interaction; coastal management
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Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Dipartimento di Scienze Pure e Applicate, Urbino, Italy
Interests: environmental geochemistry; isotope geochemistry; geoexchange potential; geothermal energy; groundwater
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Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences (DIBEST), University of Calabria (UniCAL), 87036 Arcavacata di Rende, Italy
Interests: water quality; water-rock interaction; soil pollution; heavy metals; water remediation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Geothermal energy usually refers to the heat stored beneath the Earth's surface, which can be harnessed for electricity generation or direct use in heating and cooling applications. The exploitation of such resources needs a deep understanding of the chemical characteristics of geothermal fluids (both waters and gases) and associated rocks that host the fluids’ circulation pathways.

In this view, geochemistry plays a crucial role in both the geothermal resource exploration and exploitation by providing valuable insights into the composition, and origin of fluids and rocks within the Earth's crust, and their variations following interaction processes.

This information helps in identifying potential geothermal reservoirs even when no obvious manifestations occur at the surface (i.e., hidden or blind systems), evaluating their productivity, and assessing the long-term sustainability of geothermal systems.

Geothermal fluids usually carry dissolved elements and gases derived from the surrounding rocks with which they interact. By analyzing the concentration and isotopic composition of these elements, geoscientists can determine the source of the fluid, its temperature at depth, and the mineral reactions it has undergone which are crucial parameters for estimating the exploitability and sustainability of a geothermal resource.

Geochemical techniques such as water sampling, chemical analysis, and stable isotope analysis are used to characterize the composition of such geothermal fluids. The presence of certain elements and isotopes, such as silica, sodium, potassium, and helium, can provide valuable clues about the geothermal system's maturity, heat source, and fluid-rock interactions.

Another important aspect of geochemistry in geothermal exploration is the study of rock geochemistry. Rocks associated with geothermal systems often undergo alteration due to the circulation of hot fluids. Geochemical analysis of altered rocks helps identify mineralogical changes, such as the formation of clay minerals and zeolites, which can indicate the presence of a geothermal reservoir. Understanding the extent and nature of rock alteration is crucial for predicting the permeability and fluid flow pathways within a geothermal system.

Furthermore, geochemical studies also aid in monitoring the environmental impact of geothermal operations. By analyzing the composition of geothermal fluids before and after energy extraction, potential contamination risks can be assessed, and appropriate mitigation measures can be implemented to minimize any adverse effects on water quality or ecosystems.

This special issue aims at collecting scientific contributions relating to the application of geochemical studies to geothermal systems. The papers can be related to both the fluid or rock/mineral matrixes and should focuse on the exploration, exploitation or monitoring phases of the development of a geothermal system. Multi/inter-disciplinary studies are also strongly encouraged. 

Dr. Giovanni Vespasiano
Dr. Marco Taussi
Dr. Carmine Apollaro
Dr. Ilaria Fuoco
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • geothermal energy
  • geochemical analysis
  • fluid chemistry
  • isotopic composition
  • geothermal fluids
  • rock geochemistry
  • alteration minerals
  • geothermal reservoirs

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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