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USGS CMG InfoBank: Geothermal Power

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Comment: 21:32 - 22:25 (00:53)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed 26. Living With Earth, Part II
Keywords: "Fred Teeters", geothermal, "Imperial Valley", California, crust, groundwater, magma, energy, "Earth's surface", drilling, steam

Our transcription: One area that is being explored for its geothermal potential is the Imperial Valley of California.
The crust is normally relatively thick in most places, but an area like this where we are today, it's thin, it's only about 18,000 feet.
So we're very close to the liquid rock within the Earth.
That heat is very close to the surface, and water in the ground contacts that magma, brings heat to the surface, and we can produce it.
It's in areas like this where you get geothermal energy where we can use it.
If you drill deep enough anywhere in the world, you can get the heat, but here we can drill shallow and get the heat.
The magma beneath the Imperial Valley heats up groundwater causing it to rise through the crust.
As the groundwater reaches the surface, it can "flash." or instantaneously vaporize to steam.

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