ADVERTISEMENT

Exploring Boron Isotopes In Indian Thermal Springs

Geochemical analysis gives us a clear idea about the various chemical elements present in the rocks and soils through which the water flows and acquires certain elements from the rocks and in some cases precipitates certain elements.

Geochemical interaction takes place at certain temperatures. If the temperature of a聽reaction is high, then more elements enter into the geothermal waters. A very good example is the exchange of oxygen isotope between geothermal fluids and the rocks. Rocks give away oxygen isotopes to the geothermal fluids only at temperatures above 200掳C.

ADVERTISEMENT

An investigation on boron isotopes was carried out for the first time on the Indian thermal springs. Isotopes of boron (10B and 11B) give information about the geothermal reservoir that is hosting the geothermal fluids. In the present case, even though the geothermal springs are flowing through the Deccan basalts, the isotopes indicate that the geothermal waters are interacting with the granitic rocks below the Deccan basalts and also indicate the presence of marginal sedimentary basins filled with ancient sediments along the western coast of Maharashtra.

The geothermal fluids ascend to the surface through interlinked faults and fractures in the subsurface strata. The geothermal springs along the western coast of Maharashtra flow along liner faults, that lie parallel to the west coast and were formed about 65 million years ago, the time when all of western India experienced intense volcanic activity. There are more than two faults running the full length of the west coast and hence is termed as the west coast faults.

Along with the Boron Isotopes, REE鈥檚 were also studied for the first time in Indian thermal waters. These elements are useful tools in tracing the evolution of the geothermal fluids in terms of interaction with the rocks through which they ascend and the temperatures of interaction.

This study indicates the existence of a medium enthalpy geothermal reservoir along the West coast of Maharashtra.

ADVERTISEMENT

From a geothermal direct use perspective, west coast geothermal provinces serve as a ready platform for developing natural greenhouses (in line with similar systems currently in place at Turkey, Russia, Hungary, China, and Italy), dehydration units for perishable food products (widely used in Middle East and Schengen region), aquaculture centres and Natural health spas (Wairaki New Zealand, Blue Lagoon Iceland), thus promoting the growth of secondary and tertiary industries along with its associated direct and indirect job. In addition to these uses, the heat from the earth can also be utilized for space cooling and space heating.

The current investigation indicates that the geothermal development in the state of Maharashtra, India, should be divided into short, mid, and long-term developmental plans. The short-term development plans should be focused on direct uses (space heating and cooling, greenhouses, dehydration), which shall promote the concept of geothermal energy to the masses as well as creating small-scale sustainable small to medium enterprise businesses. Mid and long-term development plan should be centered around the use of geothermal energy for generating cheap, clean and base power generation systems, beginning with the drilling of ten to fifteen deep exploration along the identified locations.

These findings are described in the article entitled聽Understanding the evolution of thermal聽fluids along the western continental margin of India using geochemical and boron isotope signatures, recently published in the journal聽Geothermics.聽This work was conducted by聽Trupti聽Chandrasekhar from the聽Indian Institute of Technology Bombay,聽A.聽Minissale from聽C.N.R. Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources,聽O.聽Vaselli from the聽University of Florence,聽D.聽Chandrasekharam from the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, and聽H.K.聽Singh from the聽Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology.

Comments

READ THIS NEXT

Scientists Create Enzyme Capable Of Eating And Breaking Down Plastic

Plastic pollution is a severe crisis plaguing much of the globe. A new enzyme created by a team of researchers […]

Treating Pigs With A Gene Therapy For Huntington鈥檚 Disease

Back in 1993, a gene was discovered to be responsible for the heritable brain disorder called Huntington鈥檚 disease. It was […]

Canaries In A Coal Mine: Best-Indicator Species For Detecting Abrupt Community Shifts

One central question in biodiversity conservation is to identify the risk of species extinction. What is the probability of a […]

Meiosis Metaphase 1

Meiosis is how sex cells reproduce, dividing their chromosomes by half to create four haploid cells that are distinct from […]

Using Hansen Solubility Parameters To Reduce Permeation In Clay

Ancient humans have long used pottery as their main containers for storing food and as a cooking device even before […]

Mycobacterium tuberculosis Hijacks Lymph Nodes

Tuberculosis is a disease generally associated with the lung. However, tuberculosis does not only affect the lungs. In fact, Mycobacterium […]

Transform Boundary: Definition And Examples

A transform boundary is a place where two of the Earth鈥檚 tectonic plates move past one another. As these plates […]

Science Trends is a popular source of science news and education around the world. We cover everything from solar power cell technology to climate change to cancer research. We help hundreds of thousands of people every month learn about the world we live in and the latest scientific breakthroughs. Want to know more?