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start:earth_sciences:geobatteries

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Geobatteries

Geobatteries, i.e. measurable electrical differences [ also known as 'Self Potential' anomalies (SP) ] are widespread in naturally occurring geological formations. There have been several proposals to explain how they might come about - it's likely that there are numerous factors at work according to the prevailing chemical and geophysical conditions.

“According to a theory by Sato and Mooney 1), SP anomalies may be caused by electrochemical processes in the Earth crust similar to a galvanic cell: a steeply inclined electronic conductive mineralization connects regions of different redox potential. Such a configuration forms a giant electrochemical cell called ‘geobattery’.” source:

The measured electrical differences can be local, just a few metres, or can stretch over many kilometres. Voltage differences can be in the range of millivolts, or in some cases up to a volt or two. See: A large self-potential anomaly and its changes on the quiet Mt. Fuji, Japan

Given the substantial scale of some of the (known) anomalies, they have received comparatively little academic attention - bearing in mind that although the voltages are low, the volumes of rock and soil can be very large, meaning that the number of electrons involved (and therefore the available current flows) imply that a geobattery might dramatically affect the way local geology develops.

Further info :

The Geobattery model: a contribution to large scale electrochemistry

Tomography of self-potential anomalies of electrochemical nature

Self-assembly of an electronically conductive network through microporous scaffolds

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