How is the heat produced?

The slow decay of radioactive particles such as uranium, thorium and potassium produces heat deep within the earth’s core. The heat is transferred or conducted to surrounding rocks (called the mantle) causing a proportion of these to melt and become magma. Convection within the mantle enables magma to move upwards to the earth’s surface. The resulting volcanic areas are targeted by those generating electricity from Conventional Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS/also known as enhanced geothermal or hot dry/fractured rock). In other places around the world, radiogenic granites can be found. In these granites, as occurs in the earth’s core, the decay of radioactive particles produces heat. Where the radiogenic granites are covered by insulating rocks, such as shale or other fine grained rocks, the heat can be retained. It is these radiogenic granites that are sought by those wishing to generate power from EGS.

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