IPFS News Link • Energy

Drilling into magma: Risky plan takes geothermal to supercritical extremes

• arclein

In 2009, researchers in Iceland drilled straight into the ground atop a known volcano. The original plan was to drill to a depth of 4.5 km (about 2.8 miles) to just above a known magma chamber. However, as you might imagine when it comes to messing with magma, things didn't go entirely to plan. At a depth of just 2 km (about 1.2 miles), the equipment penetrated an unknown upper part of the chamber where the scalding hot magma plugged up the hole, damaged the drill, and released a stream of noxious gas into the air. A similar project was undertaken in 2014 with the same results. The drill hit an unexpected magma chamber and the equipment was destroyed by acidic gasses.