Where does the heat used for geothermal energy come from?



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    The heat used for geothermal energy literally comes from the Earth. There is plenty of heat in the center of the Earth. The deeper you dig, the hotter it gets. The core, about 4,000 miles (6,437 kilometers) beneath the surface, can reach temperatures of 7,600 degrees Fahrenheit (4,204 degrees Celsius). Part of that heat is left over from the Earth’s formation, about 4 billion years ago. The rest comes from the constant decay of radioactive isotopes inside the Earth. The interior of the Earth, at least just under the Earth’s crust is the mantle. Which is liquid hot and at different places, depending on the tectonic plate alignment, sometimes breaking through the crust and providing heat or a volcano. But most of the time magma stays beneath the surface, heating surrounding rocks and the water that has become trapped within those rocks. Sometimes that water escapes through cracks in the Earth to form pools of hot water (hot springs) or bursts of hot water and steam (geysers). The rest of the heated water remains in pools under the Earth’s surface, called geothermal reservoirs.

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