Chilean Geothermal Resources And Their Possible Utilization

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Journal Article: Chilean Geothermal Resources And Their Possible Utilization

Most of the hot spring areas in Chile are located along the Andean Cordillera, associated with Quaternary volcanism. The volcanic-geothermal activity is mainly controlled by the subduction processes of the Nazca and Antarctic oceanic plates under the South America continental plate, and occurs at three well-defined zones of the Chilean Andes: the northern zone (17°30'-28°S), the central-south zone (33Φ-46°S) and the southern-most or Austral zone (48°-56°S). Some tested high temperature geothermal fields, and geological and geochemical surveys of many other hot spring areas, evidence a great potential of geothermal resources in this country. Both electrical and non-electrical applications of this potential are considered in this paper. Taking into account the potentially available geothermal resources, the development of natural resources, the geographic and social-economic conditions existing in the different regions of Chile, it is concluded that power generation, desalination of geothermal waters, recovery of chemicals from evaporite deposits and brines and sulfur-refining are the main possible applications of geothermal energy in northern Chile; in central-south Chile geothermal energy is suitable for agribusiness such as greenhouses, aquaculture and animal husbandry.

Alfredo Lahsen

Published Journal 
Geothermics, 1988

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Alfredo Lahsen. 1988. Chilean Geothermal Resources And Their Possible Utilization. Geothermics. (!) .