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

Zell am See Region (Austria)


The Case Study Area in Austria covers an area of about 200 km² including two communities within the region of Zell am See, namely Saalbach–Hinterglemm and Leogang. It is situated in the far west of Salzburg, bordering Tyrol.

About 6.000 people live in this region with more than 2 million guest-nights every year, predominantly in winter. This makes clear why the focus within the Case Study was put on the near surface geothermal energy potential related to touristic infrastructure like alpine huts, mountain-stations or hotels.



An important question is, to which extent the elevation, the gradient and the orientation of the hillside does influence the geothermal usability of the shallow underground in this high-altitude region. 


To answer these questions, the available spatial  parameters like air temperature or solar radiation are being linked with sparsely available parameters like ground temperatures. From the combination of these parameters, temperature distributions for the shallow underground are being simulated.

The outcomes of the detailed Case Study assessment shall be transferrable to the whole Alpine Region of Austria in the end.