Section 16

Geothermal

The word "geothermal" comes from the Greek words "geo" meaning "gaia" (Earth) and "therme" meaning heat. Geothermal energy refers to thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. The thermal energy of the Earth's crust originates from the original formation of the planet (≈10%) and from radioactive decay of minerals (≈90%). The earliest known use of geothermal energy dates to about 10,000 BC when populations in the Mediterranean and Mesoamerican areas used it for cooking and bathing, as sources for hydrothermal products and muds, and as religious sites or sanctuaries. The Romans built geothermal baths that remain popular today in a temple complex at Aquae Sulis, a small town in the Roman province of Britannia, now known ...

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