Title: Geothermal mapping and remote sensing of thermal anomalies at Grændalur area, Hveragerði, SW Iceland

University Thesis
Year of publication:
Geological Exploration
United Nations University, Geothermal Training Programme
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Document URL: Link


The Grændalur Valley is located in southwest Iceland, immediately north of the town of Hveragerði. It is located at the contact of the eastern margin of the Western Volcanic Zone (WVZ) and the South Icelandic Seismic Zone (SISZ). The area is seismically active, the most recent significant earthquake swarm occurred on May 29, 2008 with magnitudes of 6.3 and 5.5 between the towns of Selfoss and Hveragerði. The Grændalur valley is one of the areas in the Hveragerði region with intense geothermal activity. Geothermal mapping has been carried out in this area to map surface geothermal manifestations such as hot and warm springs, mud pools, fumarole, steam vents, steaming ground and structures. Remote optical sensors (Landsat and ASTER satellite images) were used to identify thermal anomalies in this area. The analysis of thermal anomalies made on daytime and nighttime satellite images from 2005 to 2020 has detected a new geothermal activity in the north near the center that would have certainly been created after the earthquakes of May 29, 2008. The thermal infrared (TIR) image taken with a TIR camera carried by a DJI Matrice 200 drone with a Zenmus XT thermal camera at 120 m height, was compared with temperature measurements taken directly on the ground after the flight to calibrate the TIR image for accuracy. The TIR image was used to identify and estimate the surface temperature of a geothermal manifestation whose accessibility was difficult. The surface temperature of this geothermal manifestation is about 43°C.

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