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Geothermal Gradient

Geothermal Gradient refers to the rate at which the Earth's temperature increases with depth beneath the surface. This gradient is a crucial factor in the study of geothermal energy, as it indicates the natural heat flow originating from the Earth's core. Measured in degrees Celsius per kilometer (°C/km) or degrees Fahrenheit per mile (°F/mi), the geothermal gradient varies significantly depending on the geographical and geological settings.

The Earth's crust typically exhibits a geothermal gradient ranging from 15 to 30°C/km, although this can be higher in tectonically active regions or lower in areas with thick sedimentary layers. Understanding the geothermal gradient is essential for the development of geothermal energy resources. It helps in determining the potential areas where geothermal reservoirs can be tapped for sustainable and renewable energy.

Scientists and engineers utilize the geothermal gradient to assess the viability of geothermal power plants and direct-use applications, such as district heating systems. This concept not only plays a fundamental role in energy resource management but also enhances our overall understanding of Earth's internal processes and the dynamics of heat transfer within our planet.