Characteristics and Classifications of Geothermal Systems

The Characteristics of geothermal systems vary widely, but three components are essential

A subsurface heat source that may be igneous magma bodies or heat stored in other rocks

Fluid to transport the heat

Flow from the heat source to the surface or near the surface

Geothermal resources can be classified into three broad categories.

Three Categories of Geothermal Resources:

High Temperature

  • Usually magmatic-related resource
  • Temperatures of 200-350ºC
  • Limited occurrence, and form individual convective geothermal systems of up to 50sqkm in area

Moderate to Low Temperature

  • Of non-magmatic origin
  • Maximum temperatures at drivable depth do not exceed 140ºC

Very Low Temperature

  • Widespread but close to ambient temperature


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