Near-surface Geothermal Resources in the Territory of the Alpine Space

Oberallgäu district (Germany)

Oberallgäu is the southernmost district in Germany and it covers an area of 1,528 km2 with a population of about 150.000 people. The district contains two towns, Immenstadt and the district capital Sonthofen and 26 municipalities, which are mainly located on altitudes from 700 m to 900 m a.s.l..

In the southern part of the district there are some of the highest mountains of the Allgäu, culminating in the Hochfrottspitze (2649 m). The Iller River (a tributary of the Danube) has its source south of Oberstdorf and runs through the district, passing Sonthofen, Immenstadt and Kempten.

Characteristics of the area:
  • Typical Alpine climate from moderate valley bottoms to high altitude mountain environments.
  • Different geological settings from main dolomite in the Northern Limestone Alps to alluvial deposits.

A variety of near-surface geothermal applications are already installed, but due to a lack of information in less favourable settings planners need to have an explicit local knowledge.

In consequence end-users can suffer from miscalculations in design and scale, because of an overestimation of the geothermal potential or a disregarded surface water infiltration.


Seeing these difficulties, the city of Sonthofen as an observer in the GRETA project is committed to reduce the risk for planners and to ease the use of shallow geothermal energy