Have you ever wondered what else those marvelous mountains of pent-up magma are capable of?
Volcanoes (especially caldera-forming) possess the largest volume of geothermal heat at shallow depths (from 5 – 20 km) compared to other regions on earth. Most high-temperature geothermal systems (> 190 °C) are associated with volcanoes. These systems may contain volumes of either hot, dry rock (no significant presence of water) or hot, wet rock. The latter occurs when rainwater percolates downwards through fractures, reaches the hot rock and heats up. Descending deeper into the earth’s crust, temperature increases, and the elevated temperature of the hot rocks creates the perfect recipe to exploit the heat feast below. Wells are drilled to tap and extract the heat via steam or hot water, depending on the nature of the resource.
A volcano with a confirmed geothermal resource is an effective gateway to a clean alternative of fueling a country’s energy independence. Without a doubt, tampering with volcanoes for energy is a risky business. We’ll tell you more about environmental assessments and mitigation efforts in future #GeothermalFactsandStats. Stay tuned for more!