Geothermal springs in Himalayas release large amount of carbon dioxide: Study

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News: Scientists of the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology(WIHG) have recently conducted a study on Geothermal springs in the Himalayas.

Facts:

  • Geothermal Springs or Hot Springs: It is a spring produced by the emergence of geothermally heated groundwater that rises from the Earth’s crust. 

Key Takeaways from the Study:

  • Geothermal Springs in Himalayas: The Himalayas host hundreds of geothermal springs as they cover about 10,000 square kms in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand.
  • Release of CO2: These geothermal springs release a huge amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which are sourced from metamorphic decarbonation of carbonate rocks present deep in the Himalayan core along with magmatism and oxidation of graphite.
    • Most of the geothermal water is dominated by evaporation followed by weathering of silicate rocks.
  • Affects: Carbon outflux from Earth’s interior to the exosphere through volcanic eruptions, fault zones and geothermal springs contribute to the global carbon cycle that affects short and long term climate of the Earth.
    • Hence,their role needs to be considered while estimating emissions to the carbon cycle and thereby to global warming.