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The geomagnetic field is a fundamental property of our planet – it protects us from the solar wind, helps us navigate, and observations of local and global geomagnetic field variation on timescales from hours to years reveals information on a multitude of Earth and near-Earth phenomena such as ocean circulation pattern, tides, plasma bubbles in the Earth ionosphere and jet-streams in the core of our planet. Magnetic field fluctuations associated with natural phenomena such as earthquakes and hurricanes can also be observed, and close monitoring of the geomagnetic field variations by satellite systems will further enhance our knowledge and understanding of the coupling of our complex Earth and near-Earth system.

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GOCE helps tap into sustainable energy resources

16 April 2015

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Going far above and beyond its original mission objectives, results from the GOCE gravity satellite are now being used to produce maps for geothermal energy development.

Geothermal energy is heat from under Earth's surface. From hot springs to magma, this energy provides a clean, sustainable resource that can be used to generate electricity, heat buildings, grow plants in greenhouses and many other applications.

These energy sites exist underground, but often in remote areas, making them difficult, expensive and time-consuming to explore and measure. While the potential of geothermal energy worldwide remains vast, more effort is needed to develop and harness it.

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