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Researchers awarded grant to advance geothermal energy science

Over the last decade, geothermal energy has progressed throughout the world as an environmentally friendly, sustainable source of energy. Using the heat from the Earth’s crust, geothermal power plants harvest and store energy in massive underground reservoirs carved out of stone. Once built, the reservoirs are inaccessible and monitored remotely — but not infallible. Earthquakes and more can fracture the subsurface rock, risking the integrity of the reservoir and endangering energy production. 

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Two grad students a series of tests on fractured rock using acoustic vibrations that simulate seismic activity.