May 19, 2017 02:36 AM EDT
During one of the deep drill studies by researchers along the New Zealand Alpine fault line, the drillers stumbled upon a potential source of energy. The South Pacific Nation found hot water under the faultline that somehow puzzled researchers initially.
Underground hot water means volcanic activity adjacent to the walls of heated water. But the absence of volcanoes is the reason for the confusion. Scientists, however, theorized that molten volcanic material must have seeped in through cracks and crevices creating the hot water under the New Zealand Alpine fault line.
The New Zealand Alpine Fault Line discovery is a potential source of energy that is harnessable and convertible to electricity. The hot water found underneath could heat up homes and industries around the area like dairy farming. The Alpine fault line stretches across hundreds of miles which means that New Zealand could get an enormous supply of energy from this discovery.
Leading the study is Rupert Sutherland from the University of Victoria, published his findings in the journal "Nature." Sutherland's team are supposed to study and collect rock samples and put up equipment to monitor the area near the Franz Josef Glacier tourist destination, but are now measuring water temperatures as excitement spills over the team on what they have found, reports New York Daily News.
The discovery of this potential source of energy places New Zealand in the global economic limelight. The researchers have two theories on why hot water, measuring at 100 degrees on the surface abound underground. One is the previous rattling of the crust that must have dislodged boulders carrying the caverns up the fault line causing hot water reservoirs to form. The other conclusion is transferred heat concentration when molten snow crept in caused by earthquakes and focused its heat to where the hot water supply is sitting right now., reports Tech News.
The New Zealand research team is now planning a way to harness the new energy discovery without harming the surrounding environment. Energy providers are no stranger in tapping energy from hot water as 15 percent of New Zealand energy comes from geothermal sources.