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Geothermal Current Events


Report on California Geothermal
April 15, 2014 | Geothermal Energy Association

In their Report on the State of Geothermal Energy in California, the Geothermal Energy Association says…. “Geothermal power generated 4.4% of total system power in California in 2012, but could have generated substantially more [...] about half of California’s identified geothermal resources are still untapped, and significant resources may remain undiscovered.”

First Geothermal Plant in New Mexico
April 13, 2014 | KOB4

KOB4 has a short report on Lightning Dock Geothermal, the first geothermal plant to open in the state of New Mexico.

Indonesia Oil and Gas Report
April 6, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

“Formerly a net oil exporter and OPEC member, Indonesia struggles to attract sufficient investment to meet growing domestic energy consumption because of inadequate infrastructure and a complex regulatory environment. At the same time, it was the world’s largest exporter of coal by weight in 2012 and the fourth largest exporter of liquefied natural gas in 2013. The government seeks to meet energy demand at home by reorienting domestic energy production away from serving primarily export markets and increasing renewable energy production, particularly geothermal power.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration publication release.

Has Support for Renewable Energy Peaked?
March 20, 2014 | Nature.com

Nature.com has an article that looks at the support provided to renewable energy a few years ago compared to today. This is an industry that responds strongly to some types of government support but that support might be losing steam in the USA and other countries.

A Geothermal First
March 20, 2014 | Binghamton Homepage

Greater Binghamton Airport will be the first in the United States to use geothermal energy to melt snow on the tarmac in winter and cool its terminal in summer.

Japan: First New Geothermal Plant in 15 Years
March 18, 2014 | Japan Daily Press

“As Japan continues to look for viable alternatives to its mothballed nuclear reactors, Chuo Electric Power Company is set to open Japan’s first new geothermal power project in 15 years.” Quoted from the Japan Daily Press.

Geothermal Experiments at Newberry Volcano
March 11, 2014 | Oregon Public Broadcasting

For over one year a company has been conducting geothermal experiments at Newberry National Volcanic Monument in Central Oregon. This article announces the public comment period and gives a short report on the results to date.

Image © iStockphoto and Matejh Photography.
The Strangest Volcanic Landscape
February 11, 2014 | Geology.com

One of the world’s strangest volcanic landscapes is located 269 feet below sea level in the Danakil Depression of Ethiopia. It is the Dallol crater, where a phreatic eruption through salt created a maar with a colorful and caustic salt deposits.

Related: What is a Maar?

Popular for January 2013
February 2, 2014 | Geology.com

The Polar Vortex

Hot Rock Under the Atlas Mountains

Big Rare Earth Find in North Korea?

Horizontal Well Density in the Utica Shale of Ohio

Big Blue Diamond Found in South Africa

Ice Quake in Wisconsin?

Wow! The Best Snowflake Photos

Why Was It So Cold Last Week?

The First Magma-Enhanced Geothermal System
January 28, 2014 | University of California, Riverside

“Despite some difficulties, the project was able to drill down into the molten magma and control it; it was possible to set steel casing in the bottom of the hole; allowing the hole to blow superheated, high-pressure steam for months at temperatures exceeding 450 C, created a world record for geothermal heat.” Quoted from the University of California, Riverside press release.

US Energy Mapping System
January 5, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

The Energy Information Administration has an interactive map of energy locations in the United States. You can use it to plot data layers showing the location of wind (see map sample below), coal mines, biomass plants, geothermal, hydroelectric, and many other types of energy projects.

Courthouse to Stream in an Open Loop Geothermal System
November 21, 2013 | The Martinsburg Journal News

The court house at Berkeley Springs, Morgan County, West Virginia has an unusual geothermal system. It removes water from a local stream, pumps that water through a heat-exchange system and returns the water to the stream. Open-loop systems connected to a stream are rare.

Fracking for Geothermal
October 25, 2013 | MIT TechnologyReview.com

“The use of hydraulic fracturing has unlocked vast new reserves of natural gas. Now Alta Rock, a startup based in Seattle, is developing technology that might do the same for geothermal resources, turning a marginal power source into a major source of carbon-free electricity and heat.” Quoted from the MIT TechnologyReview.com article.

Icelandic Expertise for Ethiopian Geothermal
September 30, 2013 | Bloomberg.com

Iceland is a country with demonstrated expertise in developing geothermal energy of all types. Now an Icelandic company has agreed to a geothermal project that might bring up to 1,000 megawatts of capacity to Ethiopia.

Ikea Store to Have 180 Geothermal Wells
September 19, 2013 | KansasCIty.com

A new 359,000 square-foot Ikea store near Kansas City is being built with a geothermal heating/cooling system. They are drilling 180 wells to a depth of 600 feet to create a closed-loop ground-source heat pump system.

Micronutrient Plumes from Hydrothermal Vents
September 16, 2013 | Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

“Scientists have discovered a vast plume of iron and other micronutrients more than 1,000 km long billowing from hydrothermal vents in the South Atlantic Ocean. The finding [...] calls past estimates of iron abundances into question, and may challenge researchers’ assumptions about iron sources in the world’s seas.” Quoted from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution press release.

Ground-Source Geothermal Heating and Cooling
September 15, 2013 | Arizona Geology Magazine

The recent issue of Arizona Geology Magazine has an introductory article titled: Ground-Source Geothermal Heating and Cooling: Sustainable and Affordable Energy for Arizona and the U.S.. The article features Lookout Mountain Elementary School where a new ground-source geothermal system that exchanges heat with the cooler earth hundreds of feet below the ground surface.

Exploring for Geothermal with Self-Flying Planes
September 9, 2013 | USGS

USGS has an article that explains how they have been using self-flying planes to evaluate the geothermal potential of the Basin and Range area.

Switching Hawaii from Oil to Natural Gas?
September 4, 2013 | National Public Radio

Hawaii has been addicted to expensive oil for decades when many people thought that they would be running all of the islands off of hot rocks, sunlight, ocean breezes or wave power. Now they are looking to bring natural gas to the islands. One problem is that natural gas from USA wells can not delivered to Hawaii because an old law requires the transporting vessel to be built, registered, manned, owned and licensed by people in the USA – and not one vessel like that exists.

Geothermal Subsidence?
September 4, 2013 | Imperial Valley Press

The production and reinjection of water at geothermal energy plants in California may have caused differential subsidence of agricultural fields that has disrupted their irrigation and produced low spots where crop loss occurs.

Popular for August 2013
September 3, 2013 | Geology.com

40 Maps that Explain the World

A Spanish Fort in the Appalachians in 1567?

12-Year-Old Finds a 5-Carat Diamond in Arkansas

Sinkhole in Western Kansas

Rare Eruption of Steamboat Geyser

Origin of the Antarctica Ice Sheet?

Frozen Landslides in Alaska

Solar Magnetic Field is about to Flip?

Flash Flooding Near Page, Arizona

Peridotite

Hydrothermal Iron in the South Atlantic?
August 28, 2013 | University of Liverpool

“Research by the University of Liverpool has found significant levels of iron and other micronutrients flowing from a hydrothermal vent in the South Atlantic ocean.” Quoted from the University of Liverpool press release.

Plumbing Under the Greenland Ice Sheet
August 27, 2013 | National Science Foundation

“Scientists’ understanding of how Greenland Ice Sheet melt water travels in passages along the bedrock below fails to account for some key processes. This, in turn may be affecting their assessment of how ice sheets respond to climate change.” Quoted from the National Science Foundation press release.

Tapping the African Rift for Geothermal
August 18, 2013 | Business Daily Africa

Kenya and Tanzania have some of the world’s best locations for developing geothermal energy. They are working to develop investors, expertise and technology sharing.

Related: East Africa’s Great Rift Valley

Walker Ranch Geothermal Project
July 31, 2013 | MagicValley.com

The goal of the Walker Ranch geothermal project is to tap a source of hot water over a mile below Earth’s surface and use it to create power for thousands of homes.

Geothermal Presentations
June 18, 2013 | Arizona Geology Blog

The presentations from the annual Peer Review of United Stages Department of Energy-funded geothermal projects are now posted online.

Arizona Mining Review
June 13, 2013 | Arizona Mining Review

Topics in the most recent Arizona Mining Review:

* Joe Bardswich – Moss Gold Mine
* Jerry Aiken and Matt Monte – Holbrook Potash Mine
* David Newlin – community response to potash mining at Holbrook
* Niemuth – mining news
* Kim Patten and Christy Caudill – National Geothermal Data System

First Geothermal Power Plant in Canada
May 29, 2013 | Bloomberg

A geothermal development company is going to build Canada’s first geothermal power plant in the middle of an oil field.

Tracking Geothermal Energy Sources
May 9, 2013 | Arizona Public Media

In this Arizona Public Media video, Jane Poynter interviews Lee Allison, Director of the Arizona Geological Survey on the benefits of geothermal energy along with how a project led by AGS is making geothermal data and data analysis tools available to the public.

Fracking for Enhanced Geothermal
April 18, 2013 | Technology Review

“Conventional geothermal wells tap underground reservoirs of hot water and convert the heat into steam, which drives electricity-producing turbine. With enhanced geothermal, fluids are pumped underground to fracture underground rock and stimulate the flow of liquids across hot rocks.”

Who Can Frack in France?
April 9, 2013 | Bloomberg Business News

The oil and gas industry in France is disappointed that the government banned hydraulic fracturing while the geothermal industry is allowed to use acid fracking to develop their wells.

New Geothermal at the University of Maine
March 20, 2013 | Daily Bull Dog

A new geothermal heating and cooling system on the University of Maine at Farmington campus will have 80 wells drilled to depths of up to 500 feet.

Cooling the ASKAP Supercomputer with Groundwater
March 4, 2013 | Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Magazine

The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder is a new radio telescope that will produce so much data that a supercomputer capable of one quadrillion floating point operations per second will be needed to support it. The project leaders have decided to cool the supercomputer with a closed-circuit geothermal cooling system that will operate on ground water.

Essential Data for Geothermal Development
February 26, 2013 | Scientific American

A Scientific American article explains how the National Geothermal Data System can be a valuable asset to companies working on geothermal energy projects.

Converting Geothermal CO2 into Methanol??
February 20, 2013 | SmartPlanet

They call it “renewable methanol”. As carbon dioxide is emitted at a geothermal plant in Iceland it is being converted into methanol that will be blended with gasoline by a Dutch oil company.

Oregon Geothermal Resource Map
February 19, 2013 | Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries

The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries has published an interactive online map that allows you to explore the geothermal resources of Oregon. You can use it to get information about geothermal exploration wells, water wells with elevated temperatures, warm springs, hot springs and more – all plotted on nine dirrerent basemaps. You can also get the data on CD-ROM.

Lease the Geothermal Power of Augustine Volcano!
February 12, 2013 | Anchorage Daily News

The Alaska Division of Oil and Gas plans to lease the geothermal rights to Augustine Volcano and 66,000 acres of surrounding land and seafloor. It should be pretty hot since it last erupted in 2006. Results from the lease at Spurr have not been exciting so far.

Geothermal Annual Report
February 6, 2013 | United States Department of Energy

The Department of Energy’s Geothermal Annual Report includes information about: play fairway mapping, geothermal demonstration projects, induced seismic events, the National Geothermal Data System and outreach to educational institutions.

Exploring for Geothermal in Idaho
January 15, 2013 | University of Idaho News

“In an effort to provide the most accurate assessment of high-temperature geothermal energy potential in the region, the Idaho Geological Survey recently drilled new wells in southeastern Idaho. [...]
These new thermal gradient wells will provide the first accurate picture of the heat flow regime beneath this important volcanic province.” Quoted from the University of Idaho press release.

We are constantly looking for interesting items related to geology and general science. When we find something interesting we share it here. Bookmark this page and visit often. You can also receive our news for free by RSS feed or email. We publish updates three or four days per week.





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frac sandFrac Sand is a high-purity silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing to enhance the flow of oil and gas from tight rock units.
Diamond formationDiamonds from Coal? Diamonds form under a variety of conditions that rarely involve coal as a source of carbon.
fluorescent mineralsFluorescent Minerals glow with spectacular colors when illuminated in the dark with an ultraviolet lamp.
Uses of heliumHelium is a byproduct of the natural gas industry. Its most important use is in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.
Canada diamond minesCanada Diamond Mines: Canada is the third largest producer of gem-quality diamonds in the world.
Utica shaleUtica Shale: New wells in eastern Ohio prove that the Utica Shale will be a major source of natural gas and natural gas liquids.
Green River fossilsSpectacular Fossils of the Green River Formation. Some of the world's best-preserved fossil fish from an intermountain lake.
OpalOpals: Gem quality opal is one of the most spectacular gemstones. A single stone can flash with every color of the spectrum.
NovaruptaMost Powerful Eruption of the 20th Century: People in Juneau heard the volcanic blast - over one hour after it occurred.


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