Journey to the centre of the crust

We saw it from the distance when we were in Iceland just a few weeks ago, but little did we know just how deep the geothermal well on the Reykjanes peninsular had reached, nor just how incredibly hot it was. Fresh reports from the Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) reveal that their newest bore hole has reached a whopping 4,500m into its 5km journey straight down through the earth’s crust. With temperatures expected to reach as high as 500 degrees celsius at the bottom of the well, the potential for geothermal energy is significantly higher than that produced currently by rival Icelandic boreholes which only delve to around 2 to 3 km (which is still pretty impressive).

Iceland is a world leader in geothermal energy and is justifiably celebrating the fact that they now have the hottest borehole on record. There is, however, the ever-lurking spectre of volcanic activity on the Peninsular as it literally straddles the diverging Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. No one is keen to wake a sleeping giant. Or rather, given that it is Iceland, a sleeping troll. However, as we are so driven by our global quest for clean, renewable energy sources, arguably made more desperate by recent political changes in the US (ahem!), perhaps the IDDP are justified in their reasoning that the benefits outweigh the costs. With Iceland, however, you never can quite tell what will happen next, and not just environmentally…. so this is definitely a project to keep an eye on.

The full article can be read here: world’s hottest borehole

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