News: Jan 19, 2017
A new research article, with lead authors from the University of Gothenburg, gives indications of the best places in Iceland to build thermal power stations.
In Iceland, heat is extracted for use in power plants directly from the ground in volcanic areas. Constructing a geothermal power station near a volcano can be beneficial, since Earth’s mantle is located relatively close to the crust in those areas, making the heat easily accessible. This means that the boreholes do not need to be very deep and the pipes to the power plant can be short.
But placing a power plant near an active volcano is not without risk, as an eruption can easily destroy any man-made construction in its way.
The scientists have now studied three different parts of the divergent ridge (area where the ocean plates are slowly sliding away from each other) that crosses Iceland from southwest to northeast. The slow movement and separation of the ocean plates can cause cracks in Earth’s crust, through which hot magma from the planet’s interior rises to the surface. As a result, a large number of volcanos have emerged along the divergent boundary.
‘The study includes data with extremely high precision. Data from 1967 to the present, together with the very best modelling software, have yielded the best picture to date of the anatomy of the divergent boundary,’ says Md. Tariqul Islam, lead author of the article, which has been published in Journal of Geophysical Research.
One of the best and also most well-known sites for studying a divergent boundary can be found in the Thingvellir National Park in Iceland, adjacent to the country’s biggest lake. Movements smaller than one millimetre can be measured in Thingvellir.
‘When the ocean plates are pulled apart, there is a reduction in pressure at a depth of 10–40 km. This reduction lowers the melting point so that parts of the mantle melt and magma is formed. There are a number of active volcanos of this type along the divergent boundary.’
Using a geodetic GPS, the scientists have now been able to measure the movement of the plates over time. The data used in the study is based on measurements from almost 100 ‘fixed’ measurement points. The information from the measurement points have made it possible to draw maps that show in what way the plates are moving away from each other and how large the deformation zone is.
‘This is a start. The next step will be to use powerful computers to create high-resolution 3D models of the entire zone of divergence. This will enable us to see how the interaction between the different spreading segments and how the different volcanos affect each other,’ says Md. Tariqul Islam.
Article title: Continuous subsidence in the Thingvellir rift graben, Iceland: Geodetic observations since 1967 compared to rheological models of plate spreading.
Journal title: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Dr. Md. Tariqul Islam, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg
+46 (0)31 786 28 04, +46 (0)73 730 10 97, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Erik Sturkell, 1) Volcanic eruption. 2) Thingvellir rift graben in Iceland caused of far-field plate stretching.
Originally published on: science.gu.se
[11 Apr 2017] An interdisciplinary team of scientists led by scientists from Utrecht University with participation from University of Gothenburg have found new clues about how deep life may extend into the Earth¿s interior near the deepest place on our planet ¿ the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean.
[20 Jan 2016] The Tibetan Plateau has long been seen as a "hotspot" for international environmental research, and there have been fears that water supplies in the major Asian rivers would drastically decline in the near future. However, new research now shows that water supplies will be stable and may even increase in the coming decades.
[14 Dec 2015] Chinese climate researcher Zhisheng An was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Gothenburg¿s Faculty of Science earlier this year. On 16 October, his honorary degree was conferred on him at the university¿s conferment ceremony. "I was delighted to find out that I would receive an honorary doctorate," recalls Professor An.
[31 Aug 2015] When geologists gather for a beer after work or around a campfire after a long day in the field, the conversation sometimes turns to one question: How is the profession portrayed on film? Geologists Erik Sturkell, Axel Sjöqvist, Lennart Björklund and Andreas Johnsson decided to find out.
[17 Aug 2015] In the Arctic, enhanced vegetation growth amplifies global warming. On the Tibetan Plateau, however, the situation is the reverse. "The trend in Tibet is the opposite of what we are seeing in the Arctic", says Professor Deliang Chen from the University of Gothenburg. "By restoring grasslands there, the climate can be improved - both locally and globally."
[22 Dec 2014] He is one of the principal authors of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest report. Climate scientist Deliang Chen, along with researcher Alexander Walther and his colleagues from four other European universities have now published a new book that shows the development of European extreme weather for the period 1801-2000.
[3 Nov 2014] On November 3rd, the Swedish Research Council selected which grant proposals to fund in the fields of natural science and engineering science. Over 13 million crowns was awarded to the Department of Earth Sciences for research projects.
[18 Apr 2013] Only a few climate models were able to reproduce the observed changes in extreme precipitation in China over the last 50 years. This is the finding of a doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
[18 Apr 2013] Researchers can use the mineral rutile to learn about rock types and their history. Two articles published in the highly respected journal ¿Geology¿ now present a new application of a method for more easily tracing the mineral rutile. The co-authors of the articles are researchers at the University of Gothenburg.
[22 Feb 2013] Researchers can use the mineral rutile to learn about rock types and their history. Two articles published in the highly respected journal ¿Geology¿ now present a new application of a method for more easily tracing the mineral rutile. The co-authors of the articles are researchers at the University of Gothenburg.
SE-405 30 Göteborg
+46 - 31 - 786 0000
+46 - 31 - 786 1986
Göteborg, Official guide for the city and the region
City of Göteborg, Municipal information