Over the past 7 days (up to May 6, 2014), a series of 3.0M+ earthquakes has struck multiple dormant volcanoes along the West Coast of the United States.
Move forward 2 days from the above posts…. now back to movement at a dormant volcano in central California (again).
Clearly a GEOTHERMAL related event occurring at The Geysers, California, located on the Western flank of the Clear Lake Volcanic complex.
More on The Geysers, California, and Clear Lake Volcanic Complex:
Welcome to The Geysers
“In the Mayacamas Mountains, located north of San Francisco, naturally occurring steam field reservoirs below the earth’s surface are being harnessed by Calpine to make clean, green, renewable energy for homes and businesses across Northern California.
The Geysers, comprising 45 square miles along the Sonoma and Lake County border, is the largest complex of geothermal power plants in the world. Calpine, the largest geothermal power producer in the U.S., owns and operates 15 power plants at The Geysers with a net generating capacity of about 725 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 725,000 homes, or a city the size of San Francisco.
The Geysers meets the typical power needs of Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties, as well a portion of the power needs of Marin and Napa counties. In fact, The Geysers satisfies nearly 60 percent of the average electricity demand in the North Coast region from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border. The Geysers is one of the most reliable energy sources in California, delivering extremely high availability and on-line performance, and accounts for one-fifth of the green power produced in California.
Geothermal power is energy derived from the heat of the earth’s core. “Geo” means “from the earth” and “thermal” means “heat.” This type of energy is clean and predictable, offering a reliable and renewable energy source.
The Special Properties of Geothermal Sites
Drill deep enough and the earth is hot everywhere, but converting that heat to power is a challenge. Sites such as The Geysers, where the heat is close to the surface and deep rock layers are fractured to allow water to percolate through, are quite rare.”
“Clear Lake Volcanic Field is located about 90 miles north of San Francisco, California.
The town of Clear Lake lies within the volcanic field as does much of the 43,000-acre fresh water lake of its namesake. The Geysers steam field, which sits at the southwest margin of the volcanic region, is host to one of the world’s most productive geothermal power plants, producing enough electricity for 850,000 homes.
The heat driving the geothermal system emanates from a zone of partially molten rock (magma) deep below the greater Clear Lake volcanic system.
The most prominent volcanic feature is 300,000 year-old Mount Konocti, rising about 975 m (3,200 ft) above the southwestern shore of the lake.
The most recent eruptions occurred about 11,000 years ago around Mount Konocti. Although Clear Lake volcanic field has not erupted for several millennia, sporadic volcanic-type earthquakes do occur, and the numerous hot springs and volcanic gas seeps at in the area point to its potential to erupt again.
Monitoring in the Clear Lake region by the USGS and a collaborative effort with Calpine Corporation in the Geysers Steam Field, provides real-time tracking of earthquake activity. In addition, the USGS periodically analyzes volcanic gases and hot springs in the region.”