- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - A University of Hawaii researcher is seeking a permit to conduct a geothermal-energy study of the dormant Hualalai volcano on the Big Island.

Researcher Nicole Lautze with the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology of the University of Hawaii is asking the state Board of Land and Natural Resources for a geothermal exploration permit, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, a Hilo newspaper, (https://is.gd/BZTT9k) reported.

The application seeks to conduct the study at the west rift zone of the volcano, which is located just north of Kailua-Kona. The project is being paid for by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The board is expected to consider the application Friday during a meeting in Honolulu.

Researchers have obtained permission from the landowners of nine parcels of agriculturally zoned land where researchers would conduct surveys.

The volcano project would be the first exploration permit in a larger effort to develop a geothermal resources exploration plan for the state, according to the application.

The project would include mapping the electrical conductivity of rocks between several hundred feet deep and 20,000 feet below the surface.

“The vast majority of developed geothermal systems in the world are located in regions where water can flow naturally through the heated rock formations,” Lautze wrote in the application. “Being able to identify the subsurface heat source and fractured zones allows us to begin to address some of the problems of geothermal exploration and development.”

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Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/


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