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FAQ #8: Can injecting cold water on hot rock disturb the Newberry volcano and cause a volcanic eruption?

March 20, 2012

No. The volcano won’t be affected by project activities. The youngest flows at Newberry Volcano are 1,300 years old but there has been no known activity since. The volume of heat and rock affected by the EGS project is tiny compared to the total volume of hot rock, the depth and size of the magma chamber, and the distance to the plumbing of the volcano.

Some of the most productive geothermal power plants in the world are located in volcanic regions such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Iceland, and Hawaii. In these geothermal fields, no eruptions have been caused by geothermal drilling or production. In fact, in Hawaii, operators drilled into magma, or lava chamber, with no negative results except for a drill bit that was damaged by the encounter – but still was pulled back to the surface. The magma, or lava in the hole simply solidified, plugging the drill hole back up.

Previous FAQ: Can the stimulated fractures grow in an uncontrolled way into undesirable places?

Next FAQ: Will you build a power plant to generate electricity from the hot, circulated water as part of this project?

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