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Denotes thermal activity that is a result of the interaction of water with naturally occuring subterranean hotspots. Such hotspots typically occur along the boundaries of tectonic plates, such as the Ring of Fire, however they are also known to occur in isolation from volcanic activity. Geothermal activity typically occurs when water is able to seep through a cracks in the strata to reach heated underground rock or magma. The water is superheated, and returns under pressure to the surface, where it may rise as steam, or appear as a geyser or mud pool.

Examples of geothermal activity around the world include Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park and Rotorua in New Zealand. In New Zealand, geothermal activity has been sufficient to be harnessed as a power source: Water is pumped at pressure into the ground, where it is heated and returns at high pressure as steam, and is used to drive turbines.

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