Geothermal Energy

Geothermal Energy - Geothermal Energy What is it and how...

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Geothermal Energy What is it and how does it work? 5/27/2009 IRSC Earth Science Class Gail Amalfitano
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Geothermal Energy May 27, 2009 The word geothermal comes from the Greek words geo (earth) and therme (heat) which is Earth heat. Geothermal energy is heat from within the earth about 4,000 miles below the surface. Hot temperatures are produced in part by the slow decay of radioactive particles, a process that happens in all rocks. Temperatures are believed to reach over 9,000 degrees F. Geothermal energy is contained in underground reservoirs of steam, hot water, and hot dry rocks. The most active geothermal resources are usually found along major plate boundaries where earthquakes and volcanoes are concentrated. Most of the geothermal activity in the world occurs in an area called the Ring of Fire . This area rims the Pacific Ocean. When the rising hot water and steam is trapped in permeable and porous rocks under a layer of impermeable rock, it can form a geothermal reservoir. When magma comes close to the surface it heats ground water found trapped in porous rock or water running along fractured rock surfaces and faults. Such hydrothermal resources have two common ingredients: water (hydro) and heat (thermal). Naturally occurring large areas of hydrothermal resources are called geothermal reservoirs. Geysers and hot springs are examples of how the steam and water reach the surface. Geothermal energy is considered a renewable source of energy and a clean sustainable source of power. As long as there is hot magma below the surface, cracks in the rocks, and a source of water there will be geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is clean as well. Steps are taken to remove the hydrogen sulfide that is found naturally in the steam and water. Since no
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This note was uploaded on 12/25/2010 for the course ESC 1000 taught by Professor Faculty during the Fall '10 term at FAU.

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Geothermal Energy - Geothermal Energy What is it and how...

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