GIS model for geothermal resource exploration in Akita and Iwate prefectures, northern Japan

Younes Noorollahi, Ryuichi Itoi, Hikari Fujii, Toshiaki Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, a Geographic Information System (GIS) is used as a decision-making tool to target potential regional-scale geothermal resources in the Akita and Iwate prefectures of northern Japan. The aims of the study are to determine the relationships between geothermal wells and geological, geochemical, and thermal data layers within the GIS and to use these relationships to identify promising areas for geothermal exploration. We calculated the distances from existing productive geothermal wells to Quaternary volcanic rocks, calderas and craters, faults, hot springs, fumaroles, and hydrothermal alteration zones. The dominant distances were then defined for each evidence layer. We used ArcMap to develop a GIS Model for Geothermal Resource Exploration (GM-GRE) consisting of geoprocessing tools and a modelbuilder. Areas of geothermal potential were defined and prioritized by assigning a weighted overlying selection query for geological, geochemical, and thermal data layers. The result shows that 97% of currently productive geothermal wells in Akita and Iwate prefectures are located within the first priority zone selected by the GM-GRE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1008-1021
Number of pages14
JournalComputers and Geosciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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