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A geothermal system is made up of three main elements: a heat source, a reservoir and a fluid.
A geothermal reservoir is an under-ground area of cracked and porous (permeable) hot rock saturated with hot water. The water and steam from these superheated reservoirs are the geothermal resources we use to generate electricity.
Above: Schematic representation of an ideal geothermal system.
Conceptual Model of High Temp Field Within Rifting Volcanic System
Schematic Figure of Sedimentary Basin with Geothermal Reservoir
Some of the best geothermal resources in the world are located near the Pacific “Ring of Fire” (edges of the continents that surround the Pacific Ocean.) This includes the western part of North, Central, and South America, the Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, Japan and Italy. Additional key geothermal areas include Iceland, Turkey and the African Rift Valley.