Geothermy, or “earth-heat”, is the term used to describe the thermal energy potential within the earth. Depending on the depth of the strata, geothermy is created solely by residual heat left from the time when the earth was created and radioactive decomposition processes (deep geothermal energy) or from solar radiation (near-surface geothermal energy). Deep geothermal energy comes to the surface of the earth, for example, in the form of hot springs and volcanoes. With near-surface geothermal energy, the average temperature from a depth in the earth of about 15 m, irrespective of season, is 8 to 12°C, which comes almost exclusively from stored solar radiation. Only from a depth of about 100 m does the supply of heat from the interior of the earth predominate. Both near-surface and deep geothermal energy can be used with different technologies for generating electrical power and heat.
By the way: New snow melts in the spring as soon as it comes into direct contact with the warm earth. If the snow falls onto grass, on the other hand, it stays longer, as the grass acts as a layer of insulation.
Information and ideas:
The media file can provide an overview of geothermal sources of energy. There is an obvious link with geography. Possible question: Which regions would be suitable for the use of deep and/or near-surface geothermal energy (for example occurrence of hot springs in Iceland)? Detailed information is provided in the guideline on “Renewable Energies” on the media portal of the Siemens Stiftung.
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