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BCAM collaborates in the PIXIL project, a cross-border network in the field of geothermal energy

  • The creation of this network is aimed at reaching the first world level in R&D

Basque Center For Applied Mathematics – BCAM is a partner in the Pyrenees Imaging eXperience: an InternationaL network project, better known as PIXIL. Its main objective is the creation of a cross-border network aimed at reaching the first world level in R&D related to the characterisation of the subsoil by means of geophysical imaging with the application of technology in the field of geothermal energy.

Geothermal energy is a type of renewable energy obtained by harnessing the heat of the Earth. As a naturally occurring energy, it has a low environmental impact and does not emit CO2.

Along with BCAM, other centres, both Spanish and French, participate in the project: Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC), Universitat de Barcelona (UB), RealTimeSeismic (RTS), Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies du numérique (Inria) y Pole Avenia. In addition, PIXIL has many other collaborators in order to evaluate the results and in the future be able to apply the technological advances.

Prof. David Pardo , researcher at BCAM, Ikerbasque and the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), works in PIXIL. His research deals with artificial intelligence methods applied to the characterization of the earth’s subsoil, mainly focused on electromagnetic and acoustic wave propagation problems. The aim is to quickly obtain accurate maps of the near-surface earth in order to select the best locations for geothermal energy production.

Another researcher at the centre in the project is Magdalena Strugaru, Research Technician at Simulation of Wave Propagation line. Her research focuses on the design, analysis and implementation of advanced numerical methods. In particular, she works on wave propagation problems, with the aim of developing efficient tools for imaging the Earth’s subsurface and thus contributing to advances in geothermal energy.

Mohammad Mahdi Abedi, Postdoctoral Fellow at BCAM, develops novel solutions to approximate near-surface elastoacoustic wave propagation problems. He combines these with advanced artificial intelligence algorithms based on deep neural networks.


The PIXIL project is a transnational and multidisciplinary scientific and technological cooperation. Its main goal is to develop the most advanced tools to analyze the Earth’s subsurface, with a special focus on fostering the uptake of geothermal energy in the region. The project will contribute to making the trans-Pyrenean area a technology hub in subsoil characterization within two years. Its success is expected to boost the wealth and creation of jobs related to the generation and management of underground natural resources in the area.

PIXIL has a strong research profile where scientific collaboration between institutions prevails. The project outcomes will result in advances in the three disciplines that make up modern geophysical imaging: Geophysics, Applied Mathematics and Computing.

The project has been co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg V-A Spain-France-Andorra Program (POCTEFA 2014-2020). POCTEFA aims to strengthen the economy and social integration of the Franco-Spanish-Andorran border.