Geothermal studies have been started in Russia as long ago as the 18th centure. In Geological Institute geothermal research work is carried out since 1961, when group of fellows of the former Laboratory of Hydrological Problems of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR was included into the staff of the Institute and formed new Laboratory of Geothermics and Hydrogeochemistry headed by F.A. Makarenko. Just this lab has been started regional mapping of abyssal temperatures and conductive heat flow in the USSR and adjacent areas. Many researches took part in this work (including T. Ashirov, L.N. Barabanov, V.F. Borzasekov, A.Ya. Velyugo, N.A. Volkova, L.B. Gavlina, G.D. Ginsburg, A.S. Djamalova, S.S. Djibuti, S.V. Kozlovtseva, B.F. Mavritskiy, V.N. Merkushov, A.V. Muravyev, V.I. Paduchikh, V.A. Pokrovskiy, B.G. Polyak, S.I. Sergienko, Ya.B. Smirnov, S.V. Timareva, V.P. Turkov, M.D. Khutorskoy, Yu.V. Shmelev).
At the same time composition and origin of underground fluids (D.B. Bogatyrev, Ye.A. Vakin, V.I. Dvorov, V.N. Disler, V.A. Yeroshchev-Shak, V.P. Zverev, V.A. Ilyin, N.D. Kozlova, V.I. Kononov, V.Yu. Lavrushin, T.A. Prilutskaya, A.L. Cheshko, A.V. Shcherbakov and others) as well as their role in abyssal heat transfer and outflow (V.M. Sugrobov and others), energetics of volcanism and other geological processes, and structure of the planetary energy budget were studied. In 1972 hydrogeochemical line was branched out into separate division, but in 1986 both lines of research work were jointed again into Laboratory of Geoenergetics and Hydrogeochemistry.
In 1997 Lab was transformed into separate research group and later, in 2001, into Heat and Mass Transfer Laboratory. In 1972-1997 geothermal researches in Geological Institute were led by V.I. Kononov, later by L.Ye. Yakovlev, and since 2001 by M.D. Khutorskoy.
In 1970-1980th Geological Institute, on the behalf of USSR State Committee of Science and Technology, coordinated all the works on study and use of the Earth's heat in cooperation with academical Scientific Council on Geothermal Problems.