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Iceland GeoSurvey (ÍSOR/Íslenskar orkurannsóknir)

State agency


Environment / Climate

Sub Topics

Renewable energy


Iceland GeoSurvey (ÍSOR)

[email protected]



Iceland GeoSurvey was originally founded in 1945 as a part of the State Electrical Authority, later Orkustofnun, the National Energy Authority. Iceland GeoSurvey became an independent non-profit governmental institute on the 1st of July 2003 and took over all responsibilities of the former GeoScience Division of Orkustofnun. Systematic energy research by Icelandic government institutes started in 1945 and has been carried out continuously ever since. Iceland GeoSurvey and its predecessor have from the start played a key role in this work. This research and the activities of the Icelandic power industry have resulted in that over 60% of the primary energy use in Iceland at present has its source in geothermal energy. Iceland GeoSurvey and its staff have about 70 years of experience in geothermal research, services and consultancy abroad. This includes most categories of geothermal research and utilisation. Among the countries involved are Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Russia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Georgia, Germany, Portugal, Guadeloupe, Greece, Turkey, USA, Indonesia, Philippines, Dominica, El Salvador, Costa-Rica, Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina and China. Iceland GeoSurvey, and its predecessor, has been heavily involved in the training program of UNU Geothermal Training program from 1979 and are responsible for 60-70% of all the training within the program. Iceland GeoSurvey are also supplying the training program with several personnel in the study board.


Iceland GeoSurvey provides a wide variety of energy research, exploration and development services on contract in Iceland and abroad.

The main services provided are:

Geothermal and hydropower resources:

  • Prefeasibility and feasibility studies for geothermal power plants.
  • Geophysical, geological and geochemical exploration for geothermal resources.
  • Consulting services related to exploration, earth sciences, drilling and production.
  • Services related to geothermal system management, operation and exploitation.
  • Geothermal system modelling and reservoir assessment.
  • Technical and economic feasibility studies related to utilisation options.
  • Supervision and training of geothermal scientists.
  • Exploration and evaluation of groundwater resources.


  • Environmental impact assessment of energy development and chemical pollution.
  • Basic data collection and appraisal of undeveloped energy resources.
  • Monitoring of environmental impact of energy production.

Other research:

  • Marine geosciences including oil and gas prospecting.
  • Geotechnical studies for tunnels and constructions.

Iceland GeoSurvey has moreover specialist laboratories such as water chemistry and petrologic ones; six well-logging trucks and allied probes; all major geophysical exploration equipment and a compre¬hensive interpretation and reservoir simulation software; good computers, good data collection and GIS facilities and a well-equipped technical and scientific library.

Topics: Geothermal energy, geothermal direct use, geothermal exploration, groundwater, chemical analysis, geological mapping, geophysical exploration, remote sensing, drilling consultancy, well logging, mud logging, geotherma training, geothermal direct utilisation, geothermal power production, resource asessment, reservoir assessment, geothermal modelling, geological modelling, geothermal monitoring, scaling analysis, corrotion analysis, production consultation, sustainable utilisation.

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