Using Geothermal Power is a very clean form of energy and can be just as effective as solar or wind power. Air-coolers can also be used to minimize the impact on freshwater aquifers and the atmosphere.
Geological and tectonic phenomena play a major role in determining the location and quality of a particular resource
Tectonic processes explain a wide variety of geological formations. These include volcanic eruptions, landslides, and mountain building events. Plate tectonics also shapes the distribution of oceans and continents.
The outermost layer of the Earth is broken into large rocky plates that move at millimeter-to-centimeter rates. The motion of these plates is driven by convection, which is fueled by the internal heat of the Earth. The movement of these plates causes earthquakes. There are three main ways that plates interact: subduction, convergence, and transform boundaries.
Subduction occurs when a less massive plate is forced underneath another plate. The collision between these two plates is known as a subduction zone. The crust of the lower plate is dragged downward as it is subducted. During the process, land on the opposite side of the subduction zone is also dragged down. This is commonly called a crumple zone.
During the process of convergent motion, the continental plates move toward each other, creating a mountain range. The San Andreas Fault in California is one of the most famous transform boundaries. There are other active transform boundaries, including the Queen Charlotte Fault in the northeastern United States.
Transform boundaries create interesting features, such as linear scars and strike-slip faults. However, they do not create landscapes as spectacular as subduction and convergence.
Divergent boundaries, on the other hand, occur when two tectonic plates move away from each other. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is an example of this. The ridge is located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and is known for its slow spreading.
Postseismic deformation occurs when the system responds to a slip on a fault. This can be localized on fault structures or distributed through the ductile lower crust. These measurements can help scientists understand the structural control of a fault. They are typically measured using large data volumes and advanced correction techniques. The results are based on multiple overlapping radar swaths. In the future, high-resolution InSAR data could be used to constrain the seismic factor in fault systems.
InSAR can also be used to measure the time-dependent deformation of fault segments. This can be a useful tool to study the evolution of fault zones.
Geothermal energy is as clean as wind and solar
Getting the word out about the benefits of geothermal energy is a challenge. For example, a molten core of the Earth, as hot as the surface of the sun, has been radiating heat for millions of years. It is a renewable source of energy and can be used for heating, cooling, and industrial processes.
Unlike fossil fuels, geothermal can supply the power needs of entire districts and even industries. It is a baseload energy source that can provide electricity or hot water around the clock. In addition, it is environmentally sustainable and resilient.
Geothermal systems can produce both heat and electricity, and are also known as “closed-loop” plants. They do not use fracking or fluids, but instead run fluids from the ground past a heat exchanger. This allows water to be recycled and helps prevent air pollution.
Geothermal derived power can help support current energy demands while decarbonizing future energy needs due to climate change. However, it may not reach a widespread penetration without changes in governmental regulation.
For now, however, geothermal is a relatively small industry. It has a market cap of about single-digit billions. Its technology is also relatively new. The first commercial geothermal plant in the United States was the Geysers, California, Geyser Power Plant, which opened in 1960.
Geothermal facilities in the United States generated 16 billion kilowatt hours of baseload power in 2016. The country has more than 60 geothermal power plants. These include the Beowawe Geothermal Facility, which uses an organic compound as an industrial refrigerant to generate electricity.
Many geothermal plants release trace amounts of greenhouse gases. However, they emit far less than natural gas plants, which produce 17 percent of the country’s carbon dioxide.
Geothermal energy is a clean, renewable source of energy that can be harnessed in nearly any location in the world. It is flexible and resilient, and it can be a key to a low-carbon, renewably powered world. Investing in it could protect a portfolio from a brutal oil market and put skills to work for generations to come.
The technology is ready to scale up. If you are interested in geothermal, now is a great time to invest.
Air-coolers reduce impact on freshwater aquifers and on the atmosphere
Using a cooling tower to extract geothermal heat has a number of benefits. For starters, hot water can be used directly in a variety of applications. Secondly, it helps prevent a catastrophic dam breach. It also demonstrates that humans are no longer confined to their dwindling wetlands. Lastly, it paves the way for an environmentally conscious future.
The most obvious implication is that a significant amount of the heat is removed from the atmosphere. This can only be a good thing. In fact, it’s likely that more than a third of the world’s population will be facing water shortages by 2025. As such, it’s time to be savvy and cool. The best way to do this is to develop a multi-pronged plan that involves the entire gamut: municipal, industrial, and commercial. The benefits of a well thought out plan include: reducing the carbon footprint, protecting the environment, and lowering operating costs. This enables the city to continue offering the best of the best to its residents. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: a robust stormwater management program, a streamlined permitting process, and an improved firefighting infrastructure. Moreover, the area will have an increased influx of workers, leading to an improved quality of life.
The following is a list of agencies that have taken the initiative to collaborate on a shared agenda: Sacramento County, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, El Dorado County, and the Placer County Air Pollution Control District. All of these organizations are members of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative, an exemplary partnership of stakeholders in the public and private sectors.
Numerical models of the Amiata Volcano freshwater aquifer
Several numerical models have been developed for the Amiata Volcano freshwater aquifer. These models have been used to investigate the geological processes affecting the aquifer.
The aquifer is located at high altitude in southern Tuscany, Italy. It serves approximately 700 thousand people in the area. The aquifer is primarily under unconfined conditions, whereas the deeper reservoir is hosted within the Palaeozoic phylladic basement. The aquifer is drained by 150 natural springs.
Groundwater flow is limited by the positive gradient between the water table and the interior of the volcano. This gradient may be caused by the presence of shallow aquifers or heat-traps around the volcano. These are created when the fluids with geothermal features, which are found on the outside of the volcanic outcrops, begin to flow.
The study examined previously published data and new data. It was carried out in an integrated approach, using three-dimensional tools for exploration and exploitation steps. It included the following components: geophysical interpretations, modelling, and calibrating using both deep and shallow wells.
Geophysical data was collected during the early exploration phase of Mt Amiata geothermal fields. These data were used to reconstruct the surfaces between the cover and the reservoir units. It also provided the basis for a detailed model of the aquifer.
The water table reaches around 1200 m above sea level. At this elevation, the water table is about 10% thinner than the maximum. The K-horizon is present at a greater depth, at about 400 degC.
A major minimum in the water table was observed in an electric resistivity survey conducted by ENEL. This data is shown in Figure 2. This anomaly is associated with a thermal anomaly in the study area.
The geophysical interpretations and modelling were carefully calibrated, using both shallow and deep wells. The quality of the model will be further improved when new data are obtained from deeper wells.
The Amiata Volcano is one of the most important Significant Groundwater Bodies in Tuscany. It has a strategic role in providing drinkable water to the local population. However, since the beginning of the geothermal energy exploitation, the flow of natural springs has declined. In fact, about one-quarter of the geothermal fluid produced by the fields is reinjected to the atmosphere by flash-type power plants.