Geothermal Exploration In Central-Southern Chile (33-42S)

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Conference Paper: Geothermal Exploration In Central-Southern Chile (33-42S)

Geothermal exploration in Central-Southern Chile (33"-42"s) conducted recently by the Department of Geology of the University of Chile has lead to the identification of a number of promising areas, such as the Nevados de Chillh (36.9"s) and Cord6n Caulle (40.5 O S ) . The conceptual models obtained from geological and geochemical surveys suggest surprising similarities between these two prospects. The close spatial relationship with NW-trending volcanic chains, the lack of chloride springs, and the large outflow of steam-heated waters point to the existence of vapor-dominated systems overlie by shallow steam-heated aquifers. These features differ from the traditional model of high-enthalpy liquid-dominated systems in steep volcanic terrains, applicable to most of the geothermal systems in Northern Chile. The geothermal development of Central Southem Chile and elsewhere is strongly advised, either for power generation or direct uses, since the traditional energy sources -hydroelectricity and fossil fuels - form part of a not sustainable plan. Hydroelectricity faces periodic climate changes and droughts, and extensive flooding of dams is not welcome by environmental groups and indigenous communities. On the other hand, natural gas consumption, projected to rise in the next years, will imply both an increase in C02 emissions and a higher dependence on imported fossil fuels.

Fabiin Sepdveda and Alfredo Lahsen

GRC, 2003

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Fabiin Sepdveda,Alfredo Lahsen. 2003. Geothermal Exploration In Central-Southern Chile (33-42S). In: (!) ; (!) ; (!) . (!) : GRC; p. (!)