1. Look at the physical landforms around the Nesjavellir geothermal power plant. How do these landforms contribute to the placement of the geothermal plant?

      Geothermal resources are commonly found near plate boundaries and volcanoes, or in mountainous terrain.

    2. In the photos, it appears that smoke is being forced out of the vents in the power plant. What material is in this smoke?

      The exhaust is steam. Steam is being released into the atmosphere from the large vents on the top of the plant. Steam, which is composed of water particles, has little impact on the surrounding areas.

    3. Iceland has six geothermal power plants. Why do you think this small island has so many of this type of power plant?

      Geothermal activity is found near the boundaries of tectonic plates, where cracks in the Earth’s crust bring heat from the Earth’s interior to the surface. Iceland sits on top of an active part of the Earth’s crust.

    4. What do you think are the benefits of geothermal power?

      Geothermal power is a renewable resource because there is a constant flow of heat that can be extracted from the Earth. Geothermal power also has very low emission levels because it does not require burning fuel to generate energy.

    • Nesjavellir geothermal power plant is located 30 kilometers east of Reykjavik, Iceland. The purpose of the plant is to contribute energy to the national grid as well as produce hot water for the Reykjavik district heating system.
    • Geothermal energy is created by gathering and extracting energy from the Earth. The word geothermal comes from the Greek word geo meaning earth and theme meaning heat.
    • Geothermal energy is considered a renewable energy source because heat is continuously being produced inside the Earth.
    • A majority of geothermal resources are in regions with active volcanoes or where plate boundaries merge. Geysers, hot springs, pools of boiling mud, and fumaroles are the most common examples of geothermal energy. They are found in various places around the world.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    electricity Noun

    set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and flow of electric charge.

    geothermal energy Noun

    heat energy generated within the Earth.

    landform Noun

    specific natural feature on the Earth's surface.

    Encyclopedic Entry: landform
    power plant Noun

    industrial facility for the generation of electric energy.

    steam Noun

    water vapor.