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Deep Geothermal Potential Assessment (3DHIP Calculator)

Deep geothermal potential evaluation tool using volumetric calculation and recoverable thermal energy on geological models

3DHIP-Calculator is a software written in MATLABTM 2019 developed by the Area of Geological Resources of the ICGC and the Unit of Geotectonics, Department of Geology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

The new program allows do assessments of deep geothermal potential by calculating the USGS "Heat-in-Place (HIP)" (Muffler and Cataldi, 1978; Garg & Combs, 2015) and thermal energy recoverable (Arkan and Parlaktuna, 2005; Trumpy, et al. 2016; Limberger et al. 2018) on 3D geological models with a probabilistic or stochastic approach.

3DHIP-Calculator crèdits

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Tool subject to Creative Common Reconeixement 4.0 International license Commons.
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Tool to perform geothermal resource assessment maps of deep hot aquifers from 3D geological and thermal voxel models, by means of the “Heat In Place” method using Monte Carlo simulations

Deep Geothermal Potential Assessment (3DHIP Calculator)

Tool to perform geothermal resource assessment maps of deep hot aquifers from 3D geological and thermal voxel models, by means of the “Heat In Place” method using Monte Carlo simulations

GitHub 3DHIP-Calculator App

Access online resources

The functionalities of the ‘3DHIP-Calculator’ software

3DHIP-Calculator is shown with an intuitive graphical user interface that help their utilization. The results are presented in different graphs (histograms and cumulative probability functions) and 2D maps. The output data can then be exported to Geographic Information Systems for more detailed 2D mapping to show probabilities of the available resource (for example, 10% HIP (P10)), HIP (P50) or HIP (P90).

3DHIP-Calculator workflow with an intuitive graphical interface

3DHIP-Calculator workflow with an intuitive graphical interface

Application distribution

3DHIP-Calculator is distributed in a compiled executable program for Microsoft Windows™ (3DHIP-Calculator.exe).

The current version of 3DHIP-Calculator 1.2 (August 2022), can be downloaded using a zip compressed file (3DHIPCalculator_v1.2, 21 MB) containing:

  • The 3DHIP_Calculator.exe software.
  • The English version user guide (PDF).
  • Test examples to the application:
    - 3D geological and thermal models voxel format (geological_model.vox, thermal_model.vox, from Herms et al., 2020). See section 4, user guide.
    - 1D geological model (1D_geological_model.txt). Example case of an idealized conceptual theoretical model using a single cell. See section 6, user guide.


Use case references of the app 3DHIP-Calculator

Jones, D J.R.; Randles, T.; Kearsey, T.; Pharaoh, T.C.; Newell, A. (2023). Deep geothermal resource assessment of early carboniferous limestones for Central and Southern Great Britain. Geothermics, Volume 109, 2023, 102649, ISNN 0375-6505, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geothermics.2023.102649

Torre, H. (2022). “Preliminary evaluation of the possibility of geothermal exploitation in the Jaca-Sabiñánigo area, Spain”. Master's thesis. Geological Sciences Faculty, Complutense University of Madrid. Supervisors: IGME, Repsol (Confidential).

Großmann et al. (2021). “A regional heat in place model of the North Alpine Foreland Basin (Germany/Austria)”. Bavarian Environment Agency / Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt (LFU). Conference talk at German Geothermal Congress 2021, Essen (Deutscher Geothermiekongress 2021 in Essen).

Veldkamp, J.G. and HotLime Team. (2021) “Report on play and prospect evaluation. HotLime’s case study areas.” HotLime Deliverable 3.1. GeoERA HotLime project. Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant agreement number 731166. (free access https://repository.europe-geology.eu/egdidocs/hotlime/hotlime_deliverable_31.pdf. (Accessed on 10 May 2022).



Arkan, S.; Parlaktuna, M. (2005): Resource Assessment of Balçova Geothermal Field. Proceedings World Geothermal Congress 2005. Antalya, Turkey, 24-29 April 2005.

Garg, S. K.; Combs, J. (2015): A reformulation of USGS volumetric “Heat In Place” resource estimation method. Geothermics, 55, 150–158.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geothermics.2015.02.004.

Herms, I.; Piris, G.; Colomer, M.; Peigney, C.; Griera, A.; Ledo, J. (2020): 3D Numerical Modelling Combined with a Stochastic Approach in a Matlab-based Tool to Assess Deep Geothermal Potential in Catalonia: The Case Test Study of the Reus Valls Basin. Proceedings World Geothermal Congress 2020 (Abstract).

Herms, I.; Colomer, M.; Diepolder, G.; Piris, G.; Arnó, G.; Gómez-Rivas, E.; Gabàs, A.; Cantarero, I.; Bellmunt, F.; Travè, A.; Macau, A.; Griera, A.; Benjumea, B.; Sedano, J.; Figueras, S.; Martín-Martín, J.D.; Bover-Arbal, T.; Healy, D. (2021). 3D Modeling and Geothermal Potential Assessment of a Fractured Carbonate Reservoir in the South-Eastern Pyrenees (the Empordà Case Study in NE Catalonia - GeoERA HotLime Project). Proceedings World Geothermal Congress 2020. Reykjavik, Iceland, April 27 – May 1, 2021. https://www.geothermal-energy.org/cpdb/record_detail.php?id=33443.

Limberger, J.; Boxem, T.; Pluymaekers, M.; Bruhn, D.; Manzella, A.; Calcagno, P.; Beekman, F.; Cloetingh, S.; Van Wees, J. D. (2018): Geothermal energy in deep aquifers: A global assessment of the resource base for direct heat utilization. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 82, 961–975. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2017.09.084.

Muffler, P.; Cataldi, R (1978): Methods for regional assessment of geothermal resources. Geothermics, 7, 53–89. https://doi.org/10.1016/0375-6505(78)90002-0.

Piris, G.; Herms, I.; Griera, A.; Gómez-Rivas, E.; Colomer, M. (2020): 3DHIP-Calculator (v1.1) [Software]. Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. CC-BY 4.0.

Trumpy, E.; Botteghi, S.; Caiozzi, F.; Donato, A.; Gola, G.; Montanari, D.; Pluymaekers, M.P.D.; Santilano, A.; Van Wees, J.D.; Manzella, A. (2016): Geothermal potential assessment for a low carbon strategy: A new systematic approach applied in southern Italy. Energy, 103, 167–181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2016.02.144.

Related information

For more information on the 3DHIP-Calculator program, you can contact: geotermia@icgc.cat