Geothermal Energy

Hot for Geothermal!

Geothermal energy is heat generated 4,000 miles deep inside the earth's core, which is made up of iron. We call the center of the earth the iron core.

The earth is made up of several layers:

1. Crust - The earth's surface or outer most layer is the “crust,” and ranges from 3.1 to 43.5 miles deep. The earth's crust makes up all the continents and ocean floors.

2. Mantle - The layer beneath the crust is the “mantle” which is approximately 1,800 miles deep and the thickest of all the earth’s layers. The mantle is made up of magma (or lava) and rock. When you see a volcano erupt, the lava from the volcano has magma in it. The upper mantle temperatures can range from 932°F to 1,652°F and the lower mantel, next to the outer core, can reach temperatures of 7,230°F.

3. Outer Core - The third layer is called the outer core which is made up of iron, nickel, other lighter elements, and magma. The outer core is not under enough pressure to be a solid, so it remains a constant liquid. The temperature of the core ranges from 7,280°F to 10,340°F closest to the inner core.

4. Iron Core - This is the center of the earth which is made up of iron and nickel. The temperature of the core is estimated to be around 9,800°F

The word geothermal comes from the Greek word geo - meaning earth - and therme - meaning heat. Geothermal energy was first used by ancient people for heating water for bathing. There are many natural hot springs around the world that are heated by the earth and used for bathing.

Perhaps the most famous form of geothermal activity is the geyser "Old Faithful" in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Natural geysers form when underground chambers fill with water and are heated by the earth. Steam is created when the water is heated to its boiling point. The pressure from the steam causes the geyser to erupt, spewing its contents, and the cycle starts all over again.

Geothermal energy is also a renewable energy source. The earth continuously produces rain for water, and magma for producing heat. Deep inside the earth, the water and rocks absorb the heat from the magma, and we can dig wells and pump out the heated water or steam. This heated water can be used for heating and generating electricity.