28 votes
Accepted

Why aren't seismic stations installed very deep underground so as to pre-warn from earthquakes?

The simple answer is that you can't drill to 50 km depth. The deepest holes ever drilled were to a little more than 12 km, one is named the Kola Superdeep Borehole in Russia, which was a scientific ...
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26 votes

Why aren't seismic stations installed very deep underground so as to pre-warn from earthquakes?

10 seconds is a worthwhile warning time. The Japanese use it to switch off compressors on gas lines (or open release valves on them), emergency break bullet trains, and in particular shut down nuclear ...
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13 votes
Accepted

If people aim to reach the mantle, why don't they just use volcano craters?

why don't they just use volcano craters? Because volcano craters don't go to the mantle. Here's a sketch of how the crust, mantle, and volcanoes look like: Tan colour is crust, orange is mantle. ...
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10 votes
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Hypothetically, what would happen to the earth if a large hole was drilled through the center?

The best place to ask this question is going to be at xkcd: http://what-if.xkcd.com/ but I will give it a shot. I'm not a geophysicist, but I'll try to give you a reasonable enough answer. As you ...
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9 votes
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What's the official reason why it became so hot in the Kola borehole?

Unfortunately, you intuition about subterranean ground temperatures is incorrect. Basements and cellars do provide cooler conditions to store perishable items because the near surface rock insulates ...
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  • 21.8k
8 votes

Why aren't seismic stations installed very deep underground so as to pre-warn from earthquakes?

I can see two major benefits of having a 10 second warning time: shutting down gas lines to prevent uncontrollable ruptures and fires after the tremor when comms channels are either destroyed or ...
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  • 2,083
8 votes

Is it feasible to use depleted oil wells for geothermal production?

In most cases, probably not. Oil could be considered a metamorphic mineral, formed by "gentle" heating. That is gently on a geological scale - still enough to burn your hands! Geothermal systems ...
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  • 3,843
6 votes
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How straight is the Kola superdeep borehole?

Borehole drifted from straight vertical by ~840 meters over 12,000 meters. All drill-bore wander side to side some and Kola borehole did not drift much until depth exceeded 5000 meters. See page ...
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5 votes

Can we reduce the scale of volcanic eruptions by drilling some canals or bombing some holes in the crater?

I will be using for an example in this answer the collapse of the lava dome at Mount St Helens in 1980. The lava dome on top of the mountain grew between March 20 and May 18, and then a landslide ...
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  • 508
5 votes

Is it feasible to use depleted oil wells for geothermal production?

Geothermal reservoirs are very different from hydrocarbon reservoirs. A geothermal reservoir is made of highly fractured igneous/metamorphic rocks which have low intrinsic permeability. Fluids get ...
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  • 2,361
3 votes

What would people drilling through Mount Everest find?

The summit of the mountain is made up of 400 million year old sedimentary rocks laid down long before the uplift 50 million years ago. These rocks contain marine fossils including Trilobites and ...
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  • 1,666
3 votes

Can we reduce the scale of volcanic eruptions by drilling some canals or bombing some holes in the crater?

The general answer is no. There are two critical factors that govern how a volcanic eruption behaves; the pressure of the magma and the type of magma. Regarding the types of magma, this was asked ...
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3 votes

Why aren't seismic stations installed very deep underground so as to pre-warn from earthquakes?

I think you've answered your own question when you ask if 10 seconds is too short notice and is it worth it. A question for you, what can anyone do in 10 seconds and how far can anyone travel in 10 ...
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2 votes

Can we reduce the scale of volcanic eruptions by drilling some canals or bombing some holes in the crater?

Yes, but no. It highly depends on the circumstances. As Fred said in his answer, there are several types of magma. Some might flow almost like water while others might fragment and explode. You ...
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2 votes

Volcano magma chamber

You might get a lava seepage, but I doubt it. The cross-sectional area of a borehole is small compared to the total cross sectional area of fractures that are there already. Note that volcanoes bulge ...
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2 votes

What's the official reason why it became so hot in the Kola borehole?

The currently most popular answer here completely fails to mention that your assumption would be impossible, as it would violate laws of thermodynamics, so I will offer my own answer. To the ...
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  • 189
2 votes

Formation of steam underground

In the process of drilling holes in the ground, if water was introduced, could it reach equilibrium vapor pressure, flash to steam and expel drill bit, drilling rod, and other debris up and out of the ...
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  • 21.8k
1 vote

If people aim to reach the mantle, why don't they just use volcano craters?

I am not a geologist, but my understanding is as follows: volcanoes may be felsic or mafic. The latter type gets its 'fuel' from hotspots from within the mantle. These volcanoes are located at plate ...
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1 vote
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Why should wellbores be supported by pressure, but not mine tunnels?

Drilling mud is only used when drilling for fluids that are pressurized such as oil, gas and sometimes water. It is not used when drilling for minerals such as gold, iron ore, copper. Exploratory ...
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1 vote

Is VLF-EM scanning for fractures a valid way to find groundwater for a well?

VLF-EM is a perfectly valid technique for helping an expert decide where best to locate wells in geological environments where water is largely flowing in fractures. Typically it is a useful technique ...
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  • 1,666
1 vote

If the Kola Superdeep Borehole were opened today, what would come out of it?

Water has likely seeped in to the point of filling the hole up to sea level along with a high concentration of mineral deposits as a suspension of solids with the 180° Celsius bottom creating a lava ...
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1 vote
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If the Kola Superdeep Borehole were opened today, what would come out of it?

The only reasonable hypothesis is that it is filled with whatever it was filled with when the well was sealed. A 12km long pipe with a sealed end is not going to have its contents replaced with ...
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1 vote

Could further oil drilling remove an insulation layer of the Earth cores heat?

I think your basic assumption is incorrect. Removing oil and the 80 to 90% water associated with it would reduce the thermal conductivity of the rock formations. It removes these liquids which aid ...
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  • 1,013
1 vote

Why aren't seismic stations installed very deep underground so as to pre-warn from earthquakes?

The cost of digging very deep boreholes is generally prohibitive and unnecessary given the accuracy that detectors can be built with modern technology and the time advantages of deep mine detectors is ...
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1 vote

Is it feasible to use depleted oil wells for geothermal production?

Do you know the (TVD) true vertical depth of these wells. Are you certain the wells are tapped into an oil formation. Oil wells deplete in the production sense but the mess still remains as well ...

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