CHAPTER 7 - The Heat Energy of the Underground
Review articleOpen access
1975/01/01 Chapter DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-08-018750-1.50012-8
Publisher SummaryThis chapter discusses the heat energy of the underground. At a certain depth below the earth's surface, the temperature and pressure reach a level at which the rocks are in a liquid, molten state. This molten rock is called magma. If the magma breaks into the solidified outer crust of the earth, it crystallizes and forms igneous rocks. The solid crust of the earth is broken up into rigid continental shields, forming the central flat parts of continents. Caused by extraterrestrial events, these shields tend to shift with respect to each other. In this process, the regions around the edges of the continental shields are weakened by faults and bends in the earth's layers. Through these weakened regions, the hot molten magma of the earth's depths can intrude toward the surface. The heat content of the earth's depths can be extracted in several forms, depending on the underground geological conditions. The most developed form is the one that is easiest to tap, that is, the utilization of dry underground steam for power generation.
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