Utilization of Magma Energy—Project Summary1
The scientific feasibility of extracting energy from magma bodies is the objective of this project. The high temperature (~1,000°C) and estimated large resource (~10,000 quads) within 10 km depth in the United States provides the incentive for this work. The areal extent of a near-surface molten lava body has been defined with geophysical sensing systems. Improved knowledge of the in-situ physical properties of buried molten rock is required to assess the thickness of magma bodies. Drilling into molten lava has demonstrated that it is a complex operation and requires further technologic development. Experimental studies of rock deformation at near-magma temperatures and pressure show a possibility that boreholes will or can be made to stay open. Calculational analyses of magmatic gas samples have provided a satisfactory definition of the gas content of in-situ magmas. Material compatibility experiments have shown that nickel- and cobalt-based alloys can be expected to survive and operate in the magma environment. Thermal heat exchangers have been shown to be capable of survival in molten rock and accomplish significant rates of heat transfer to an internal fluid.
Figures & Tables
The energy and mineral resources of the vast Pacific basin and its neighboring land areas play a vital role in meeting the ever-growing needs of society worldwide. Building on the foundation of a highly successful conference held in 1978, this volume contains 51 of the 135 papers presented there. Subjects included are general and specific in nature--oil, gas, and coal resources; geothermal fields, uranium; tin; evaporites, trace elements; water resources; magma energy and fuels from magma. Geological and geophysical techniques, and also the new tool of remote sending for petroleum and minerals exploration are represented. Tectonics, structure fundamentals, subsurface hazards, international treaties and the law of the deep sea are discussed. Seventeen countries and regions are represented in these papers: Thailand, Nicaragua, the United States, Japan, Peru, Antarctica, El Salvador, Australia, Mexico, Taiwan, New Zealand, China, Chile, Indonesia, Canada, and the Pacific Ocean.