Word of Week – Conduction


For geothermal applications, this refers to heat transfer in solids where thermal energy flows via microscopic-submicroscopic collisions of particles, which at a macro level is seen as solid-state diffusion. A vertical conductive thermal gradient is linear wherein temperature increases with increasing depth at a constant slope.

Did you know… there is a submarine volcano in Antarctica?

Did you know… there is a submarine volcano in Antarctica?

Deception Island, Antarctica is home to an active submarine volcano which has created a large volcanic crater in the middle of the South Shetland Islands.

The total land area of the island is 98.5 km2(~38.0 mi2), with a diameter of 15 km (~9.3 mi). The island rises up to 539 m (~1768.4 ft) above the sea level. More than 57% of the island is covered by permanent glaciers.

The average annual air temperature is -3˚C (26.6˚F); however, temperatures can range from a high of 11˚C to a chilly -28˚C (51.8˚F to -18.4˚F.)

The island’s geothermal heat is found just below the surface. This means visitors can dig a shallow depression into black sand beaches to enjoy the warmth - especially appealing after taking a

Technically, there are no official hot springs on the island, however, along the shoreline of Pendulum Cove, there are thermal springs with temperatures over 70˚C (158˚F). Due to the mixture the cold and hot water, a natural hot tub is created.

But before you jump in, consult a trained expert or experienced expedition guide. They know which areas are safe for a relaxing soak in the steamy water.

Stay tuned to learn about the other active volcano, Erebus.




Word of Week – INSAR


Interferometric synthetic aperture radar is a technique that is deployed from aircraft or satellites in order to generate interferogram images. These are used to interpret surface deformation resulting from natural and human-related activities.

Word of the Week – DAS


Distributed Acoustic Sensor. Involves the deployment of fiber optic cable on the surface or in a well, and the detection of small variations in the refractive index of the fiber based on the scattering of light pulsed from a laser. Strain and temperature can be determined at fine scale intervals along the length of the fiber.

Word of Week – DFIT


Diagnostic Fracture Injection Test. A subsurface well test in which pressure is monitored as a small volume of fluid is injected into a reservoir to develop a hydraulic fracture. Monitoring continues to produce a pressure versus time plot that is analyzed to determine reservoir properties, formation pressure, and stress regime.

Did you know… Alaska uses geothermal energy to produce electricity?

Did you know… Alaska uses geothermal energy to produce electricity?

It might seem highly unlikely that geothermal energy could be harnessed in the Arctic climate of Alaska considering HOT water is required. However, this is not the case! Geothermal reservoirs can be found almost anywhere in the world. In fact, Alaska has 97 known thermal springs and is one of eight states to use geothermal energy to produce electricity. The first geothermal power plant in Alaska launched in 2006 at Chena Hot Springs and can generate up to 730 kilowatts of power. It is located in the Interior hot springs geothermal region.

The Chena Hot Springs Resort uses geothermal energy in many different ways. The geothermal energy generated supplies power and heat to its greenhouses, swimming pools, and other facilities. In order to produce the power, a binary plant, that runs on the organic Rankine cycle, is used with a generating capacity of 680 kW. The plant runs on 165˚F (~73.9˚C) water meaning the geothermal power plant generates electricity at the lowest temperature in the world. The resort also has a 16-ton absorption chiller, which uses geothermal energy to keep their outdoor ice museum frozen all year round.

Including the Interior hot springs, there are two other active geothermal regions in Alaska – the Southeast hot springs and the “Ring of Fire” volcanoes. The Interior hot springs run from the Yukon Territory in Canada to the Seward Peninsula in Alaska. The “Ring of Fire” volcanoes include the Alaska Peninsula, Mount Edgecumbe, the Aleutians, and the Wrangell Mountains.

Currently, the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, or ACEP, is working with landowners, multiple utilities, and communities to assess resources and evaluate options for the development of geothermal energy in multiple parts of the state.