Thursday, May 14, 2009

Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is the energy that is obtained from deep inside the core of the earth. We know that earth is formed of different layers. The innermost layer is called the solid iron core and is surrounded by the molten core known as magma. Magma is nothing but hot molten rock. The mantle surrounds the core and is made up of magma and rock. Crust is the outermost layer of the earth.

Heat is being continuously generated inside the earth’s core and flows from the core to the mantle and this heat can be used as an alternative energy source. This energy source is called the geothermal energy. The geothermal energy resources can be made available on the surface in three ways. They can come to the surface by the flow of magma through volcanoes in the form of lava. The flow of underground water or steam in a natural manner like in hot springs can form good geothermal energy resources. Human efforts can make the flow of underground water or steam possible and use this hot water or steam as geothermal energy.

But how does water get inside the earth? Rain water trickles down rock fissures when it rains. Once this water gets inside the surface of the earth, it is collected in an underground aquifer and gets heated by the earth’s heat. The hot water being lighter rises up in the form of steam and reaches the earth’s surface to provide us with what is known as geothermal energy or earth energy.

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