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Researchers study geothermal potential of South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa (source: flickr/ dorena-wm, creative commons)
Carlo Cariaga 24 Nov 2019

Analysis of the gases naturally emanating from bubbling springs in the Highveld region show that they come from the deep mantle

In a bid to determine if South Africa has geothermal potential, a team of scientists from the University of Edinburgh analyzed the gases emanating from the natural springs in KwaZulu-Natal in the Highveld Region. The results of the study reveal that the carbon dioxide-rich gases originate from a hotspot located deep inside the earth.

The research also included scientists from the Universities of Aberdeen and Strathclyde, Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, British Geological Survey, and South Africa Council for Geoscience. It was was completed with support from Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage and the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre.

“The high relief and hotter than expected subsurface temperatures of the rocks beneath Southern Africa had been a puzzle for geologists for many years. Our findings confirm that carbon dioxide gas at the surface is from a deep mantle plume, helping to explain the regions unusual landscape.” according to Dr. Stuart Gilfillan, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoScience.

The study has been published in the journal Nature Communications and can be accessed here.

Source: ESI Africa