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Comparative study of the silica and cation geothermometry of the Malawi hot springs: Potential alternative energy source
Department of Geography and Earth Science, Zomba, Malawi .
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, GIS - Geographical Information Science Group. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2010 (English)In: JOURNAL OF AFRICAN EARTH SCIENCES, ISSN 1464-343X, Vol. 57, no 4, 321-327 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and one of the most densely populated in south-eastern Africa. Its major power source is hydro-electricity. During the past few years, the power generation capacity has been reduced, which has impacted negatively on the socio-economic development of the country. The country holds an enormous potential to generate geothermal energy due to the countrys position within the Great African Rift valley. This could contribute to economic growth, poverty reduction and technological development in Malawi. The paper presents findings of research on comparisons between silica (quartz and chalcedony) and cation geothermometers (Na-K, Na-K-Ca and K-Mg) of hot springs in the Malawi Rift, in order to deduce the temperature at depth of selected hot springs. The saturation indices of most springs have a bearing on the geology of the areas where these hot springs are found. The Na-K geothermometers are, in general, higher than the Na-K-Ca geothermometer and the K-Mg geothermometer shows temperatures that are too low to be considered. The difference in the results between the different geothermometers may indicate shallow conditions of mixing with ground-water. Results also indicate that some hot springs have sufficient heat-generating capabilities and warrant further exploration work to assess their suitability for energy generation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. , 2010. Vol. 57, no 4, 321-327 p.
Keyword [en]
Malawi Rift, Hot springs, Cation and silica geothermometers, Equilibration
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-57406DOI: 10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2009.11.001ISI: 000278241600004OAI: diva2:325533
Available from: 2010-06-18 Created: 2010-06-18 Last updated: 2013-03-28

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Simfors, NurySivertun, Åke
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Department of Computer and Information ScienceThe Institute of TechnologyGIS - Geographical Information Science Group
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