Story: Geothermal energy

Subsidence around Wairākei geothermal field

Subsidence around Wairākei geothermal field

Extracting steam at Wairākei has caused the ground to subside. This map shows the total subsidence, measured over almost 50 years, from 1953 to 2001. The contour interval is 1 metre. The greatest subsidence, up to 14 metres, is in the immediate area of the borefield. A larger area has subsided by over a metre, indicating that extraction of geothermal fluid may affect a large area in the long term.

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Source: Contact Energy

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How to cite this page:

Carol Stewart, 'Geothermal energy - Effects on the environment', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 June 2024)

Story by Carol Stewart, published 12 Jun 2006