Monday, October 23, 2017

Science & Technology: The Case for Drilling at Volcanic Margins Could Boost Geothermal Energy

Probing Magma Reservoirs to Improve Volcano Forecasts (

We rarely measure the key variables operative in the magmatic environment. Despite major advances in geophysics and petrology, more in situ data on subsurface magmas and their surrounding hydrothermal shells are required.

We see an underexplored route to get these data: drill upper crustal magma reservoirs and their peripheries. After drilling, the holes could be used as instrumented observatories.

Among many other possibilities, such data could tell us if the spectacular inflations and deflations of calderas appear as commensurate and synchronous changes in the temperature, pressure, and flow rates of hydrothermal fluids. Or we might track changes during intrusive episodes by observing real-time seismic velocity changes in the materials in between two drill holes (using one as a source and the other as a receiver).

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