Initial survey results hopeful for geothermal development in Sri Lanka

Initial survey results hopeful for geothermal development in Sri Lanka Trincomalee, Sri Lanka (source: flickr/ DennisSylvesterHurd, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 7 Mar 2012

The Sri Lanka Geological Surveys and Mines Bureau launches extensive survey to evaluate the geothermal resource potential of the island. The survey is sponsored by several donors, including the UK and Canada and to be conducted by FUGRO.

Reported from Sri Lanka, the country’s “Geological Surveys and Mines Bureau (GSMB) launched an islandwide survey to evaluate the temperature variations of the landscape with the hope of generating thermal power electricity and other temperature based mechanisms.

This is an expansion to the recently held magnetotelluric survey in the country with the objective of locating possible deep sources of geothermal energy covering mainly the hot spring sites. The survey covered the landscape which included Rankiri Ulpotha, Kenniya, Nelumwewa, Kapurella, Mahaoya, Padiyathalawa and Mahapalessa.

This was a joint project between privately funded personnel in the UK and Canada, the University of Edinburgh, UK, the Geological Surveys and Mines Bureau, the Institute of Fundamental Studies and the Water Supply and Drainage Board.

The GSMB sources revealed that the preliminary results were encouraging and high conductivity regions have been found below the hot springs with evidence of a connection to a deeper high conducting region. The depth of the high conducting region will be determined in the extended analysis to be conducted under phase two of the programme.

The report after processing the available data will determine the viability of a geothermal resource.

Chairman of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau Dr N A Wijayananda said that the preparation of a heat map concerning the country’s landscape was under proposal stage.

“The temperature variations in the deep interior of our earth causing the emergence of hot water springs is under survey. There could be other signs of the geothermal energy sources deep in the earth not in the form of hot springs. Hence, there is a proposal for making a heat map,” Dr Wijayananda said.

The Chairman of the GSMB said that initial arrangements were being made for conducting an air borne geological survey for identifying subsurface mineral deposits.

The survey is to be launched by the GSMB jointly with FUGRO, an international geophysical survey company using a low flying aircraft fitted with sophisticated equipment.”

Source: Sri Lanka Daily News