Contest #479: The Geysers, California, USA

The Geysers is the largest geothermal field in the world. Located about 115 km north of San Francisco, there is a complex of geothermal power plants producing about 1000MW, enough to power over 150,000 homes, or about 60% of the demand for the area between the Golden Gate Bridge and the Oregon Line.

The steam is a byproduct of a magma chamber about 4km below the surface. In addition to the naturally occurring water in the field, the companies and agencies that run the plants also inject treated wastewater into the reservoir to increase the volume of superheated steam.

In the image are 2 of the 22 plants, each one similar in design to this one:
Sonoma Plant at The Geysers 4778

or this one:

The region is also the site of a huge number of small earthquakes — most in the 1 to 3 magnitude, although on Wednesday, Dec 14th, of this year, a 5.0 struck there. USGS Seismologists have stated that the quakes in this area are almost certainly a result of the steam production, leading some to question whether or not the additional water injection is wise.

Here’s a map of all the quakes in that area from the last 7 days

Those who got powered up early included:

  • Lighthouse
  • Eloy Cano
  • Phil Ower
  • Garfield
  • Gyorgy Horvath
  • Jesus M Rodriquez

And those who got lost in the steam and needed the hint included:

  • Steve Hoge
  • Jeather
  • steve willis

One Reply to “Contest #479: The Geysers, California, USA”

  1. Hi Paul,

    I think I found the place before you posted the hint 😉

    Have a Happy New Year!!!


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