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Encyclopedia > Geothermal (geology)
Earth cutaway from core to exosphere. Partially to scale.
Earth cutaway from core to exosphere. Partially to scale.

In geology, geothermal refers to heat sources within the planet. Strictly speaking, geo-thermal necessarily refers to the Earth but the concept may be applied to other planets. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ...


Geothermal is technically an adjective (e.g., geothermal energy) but in U.S. English the word has attained frequent use as a noun (otherwise expressed as g. heat, g. source, or geotherm). In grammar, an adjective is a word whose main syntactic role is to modify a noun or pronoun (called the adjectives subject), giving more information about what the noun or pronoun refers to. ... In linguistics, a noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. ...


The planet's internal heat was originally generated during its accretion, due to gravitational binding energy, and since then additional heat has continued to be generated by the radioactive decay of elements such as uranium, thorium, and potassium. The heat flow from the interior to the surface is only 1/20,000 as great as the energy received from the Sun. In astrophysics, the term accretion is used for at least two distinct processes. ... The gravitational binding energy of an object is the amount of energy required to accelerate every component of that object to the escape velocity of every other component. ... Radioactive decay is the process in which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by emitting radiation in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves. ... General Name, symbol, number uranium, U, 92 Chemical series actinides Group, period, block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery gray metallic; corrodes to a spalling black oxide coat in air Standard atomic weight 238. ... General Name, Symbol, Number thorium, Th, 90 Chemical series Actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery white Standard atomic weight 232. ... General Name, symbol, number potassium, K, 19 Chemical series alkali metals Group, period, block 1, 4, s Appearance silvery white Standard atomic weight 39. ... Sol redirects here. ...

Contents

Sources

Temperature within the Earth increases with increasing depth. Highly viscous or partially molten rock at temperatures between 1,200 and 2,200 °F (650 to 1,200 °C) is postulated to exist everywhere beneath the Earth's surface at depths of 50 to 60 miles (80 to 100 kilometers), and the temperature at the Earth's center, nearly 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers) deep, is estimated to be 5650 ± 600 kelvins.[1] [2] For other uses, see Kelvin (disambiguation). ...

  • Much of the heat is believed to be created by decay of naturally radioactive elements. An estimated 45 to 90 percent of the heat escaping from the Earth originates from radioactive decay of elements within the mantle.[3]
  • Heat of impact and compression released during the original formation of the Earth by accretion of in-falling meteorites.
  • Heat released from the sinking of abundant heavy metals (iron, nickel, copper) as they descended to form the Earth's core.
  • Some heat may be created by electromagnetic effects of the magnetic fields involved in Earth's magnetic field.
  • Heat generated within the Earth's core may be in the range of 4–10 TW.[4]
  • Heat may be generated by tidal force on the Earth as it rotates, since land cannot flow like water it compress and distorts, generating heat.

Radioactive decay is the process in which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by emitting radiation in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves. ... Willamette Meteorite A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives an impact with the Earths surface without being destroyed. ... For other uses, see Heavy metal (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Iron (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Nickel (disambiguation). ... Copper has played a significant part in the history of mankind, which has used the easily accessible uncompounded metal for nearly 10,000 years. ... Magnetic field lines shown by iron filings Magnetostatics Electrodynamics Electrical Network Tensors in Relativity This box:      In physics, the magnetic field is a field that permeates space and which exerts a magnetic force on moving electric charges and magnetic dipoles. ... The magnetosphere shields the surface of the Earth from the charged particles of the solar wind. ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 after breaking up under the influence of Jupiters tidal forces. ...

Heat flow

Heat flows constantly from its sources within the Earth to the surface. Global terrestrial heat flow is about 45 TW (1 TW = 1012 watts).


Hot spots

Geothermal heat at the surface is highly concentrated where magma is close to the surface. This primarily occurs in volcanic and hotspot areas and at spreading ridge areas. Magma is molten rock located beneath the surface of the Earth (or any other terrestrial planet), and which often collects in a magma chamber. ... Cleveland Volcano in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska photographed from the International Space Station For other uses, see Volcano (disambiguation). ... In geology, a hotspot is a location on the Earths surface that has experienced active volcanism for a long period of time. ... An oceanic ridge is an underwater mountain range, usually formed by plate tectonics. ...


References

  1. ^ Alfe, D.; M. J. Gillan, G. D. Price (2003-02-01). "Thermodynamics from first principles: temperature and composition of the Earths core" (PDF). Mineralogical Magazine 67 (1): 113-123. doi:10.1180/0026461026610089. Retrieved on 2007-03-01. 
  2. ^ Steinle-Neumann, Gerd; Lars Stixrude, Ronald Cohen. "New Understanding of Earth’s Inner Core", Carnegie Institution of Washington, 2001-09-05. Retrieved on 2007-03-01. 
  3. ^ Anuta, Joe. "Probing Question: What heats the earth's core?", physorg.com, 2006-03-30. Retrieved on 2007-09-19. 
  4. ^ Hollenbach, D. F.; J. M. Herndon (2001-09-25). "Thermodynamics from first principles: temperature and composition of the Earths core". PNAS 98 (20): 11085-11090. doi:10.1073/pnas.201393998. Retrieved on 2007-03-01. 

Geothermal Resources. DOE/EIA-0603(95) Background Information and 1990 Baseline Data Initially Published in the Renewable Energy Annual 1995. Retrieved on May 4, 2005. Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 60th day of the year (61st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW) is a foundation established by Andrew Carnegie in 1902 to support scientific research. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 60th day of the year (61st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 89th day of the year (90th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), mostly commonly referred to as PNAS, is the official publication of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 60th day of the year (61st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full 1995 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 124th day of the year (125th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Geothermal Energy - MSN Encarta (610 words)
Geothermal Energy, energy contained in intense heat that continually flows outward from deep within Earth.
Some heat is generated in the crust, the planet’s outer layer, by the decay of radioactive elements that are in all rocks.
Geothermal energy provided 1.6 percent of the world’s total electricity, serving the electricity needs of about 60 million people, mostly in developing countries.
Geology News: Shortage of Geologists and Geology Professors (228 words)
Geology News: Shortage of Geologists and Geology Professors
In the past year there have been many articles on the web and in print that detail the shortage of geology graduates and the retirement of a very large number of senior geologists who were hired during the "Energy Crisis" of the 1970s.
If industries want to sustain a steady flow of geologists, this may be the time to support university geology departments with endowed professorships and attract geology students with generous scholarship programs.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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