Hawaii Geothermal Energy Problem


Screen Shot 2017 02 26 at 5 12 47 pm

The photo above is a spectacular image of the continuing lava flow at the Kilauea Volcano (more here) and the question what is powering this massive production of basaltic lava remain problematical.

The mainstream view is that radiogenic heat in the upper mantle etc., causes partial melting that erupts as observed in the photo above. This radiogenic heat is interpreted as a mantle hotspot, though no one is able to explain why some parts of the mantle are richer in radiogenic elements, causing the hotspot, than other parts of the mantle that are not so hot.

One of the problems with the standard radiogenic thermal model is that radiogenic decay is constant and always decreasing at a measured rate defined as the half-life. There’s another problem with the radiogenic heat model.  If the partial melting is indeed being caused by radiogenic heat, then the molten mantle should also be radioactive and the outpouring basalt observed above, should be also highly radioactive. After all, that’s the only source of heat available to the standard model. Yet chemically basalts are not radioactive, and it’s obvious the photographer above is not concerned about radiation.

So where is the energy coming from? Where is the energy stored? How is it stored, if being stored is real in the first place.

Matter that is highly compressed under enormous pressures exists as a solid phase. It’s state changes if a pressure reduction occurs, and it liquefies.

On the other hand magma is plasma, and matter can become molten into plasma if subjected to an intense energy input such as observed in electric-arc blast furnaces.

So perhaps there is a massive electric current flowing between the ionosphere and Mt Kilauea.

Perhaps we should watch Dr. Kongpop’s U’yen’s presentation again for extra clues.

One thing is sure – the heat is not being produced by a mantle Fukashima source.

About Louis Hissink

Retired diamond exploration geologist. I spent my professional life looking for mineral deposits, found some, and also located a number of kimberlites in NSW and Western Australia. Exploration geology is the closest one can get to practicing the scientific method, mineral exploration always being concerned with finding anomalous geophysical or geochemical data, framing a model and explanation for the anomaly and then testing it with drilling or excavation. All scientific theories are ultimately false since they invariably involved explaining something with incomplete extant knowledge. Since no one is omniscient or knows everything, so too scientific theories which are solely limited to existing knowledge. Because the future always yields new data, scientific theories must change to be compatible with the new data. Thus a true scientist is never in love with any particular theory, always knowing that when the facts change, so too must he/she change their minds.
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