Is Mapping Still the Name of the Geothermal Game?

Placement: Finalist

Team Name: The Sisters

Team Members: Ahinoam Pollack, Revital Pollack

School/Organization: Stanford University / Bar Ilan University

Until recently geothermal energy was only commercially viable near volcanoes and active plate boundaries, and geoscientists scouted these locations using GIS. However, with the advent of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) vastly expanding the feasible locations for geothermal energy generation the question arises: If geothermal energy can be found anywhere, is GIS mapping of geothermal resources still necessary? We address this question in a clear, step-by-step manner that is accessible to beginner audiences as well as informative for geothermal researchers. We begin by reviewing what geothermal energy is, its uses and advantages, and the role GIS has played in finding geothermal resources. Then we explore the development of EGS, its effect on the field of geothermal energy, and on the role of GIS mapping. Along the way, visitors are invited to explore GIS maps and additional geothermal geospatial data, which are incorporated into the text.

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