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Te Horu geothermal Te Horu geothermal

Geothermal glossary and reports

Bore - Any structure, well or hole in the ground, which is drilled or constructed. This includes bores that access underground resources (such as groundwater, geothermal water or geothermal heat) and those not accessing underground resources (such as monitoring or geotechnical bores).

Downhole Heat Exchanger - A device installed down a bore to remove heat from a geothermal field without removing geothermal fluid. Generally uses freshwater circulated through a heat exchanger at depth.

Geothermal energy - Energy derived or derivable from and produced within the earth by natural heat phenomenon; includes all geothermal water (Resource Management Act 1991).

Geothermal field/system - A discrete area where geothermal energy is known to be found and includes all areas that are hydrologically linked. It can include a body of geothermal water, material containing heat or energy surrounding the water, and all plants, animals and surface features dependant on it.

Geothermal fluid - Combined geothermal water and steam, undifferentiated proportions of either state, or a system that utilises both steam and water.

Geothermal surface feature - Includes, but is not limited to, mud pools, sinters, hot springs, hot pools, fumeroles, tomos, geysers, geothermally influenced freshwater systems, steam vents and areas of hot ground. Surface features may or may not be of natural origin, and includes extinct or intermittent features.

Geothermal water - Water heated within the earth by natural phenomenon to a temperature of 30°C or more; includes all steam, water, water vapour and every mixture of these that have been heated naturally.

Reinjection - Geothermal fluid being pumped back into the ground to the same aquifer from which it was sourced.

Water - means water in all its physical forms whether flowing or not and whether over or under the ground. It includes fresh water, coastal water, and geothermal water. It does not include water in any form while in any pipe, tank, or cistern.

Videos: The science behind the system

Rotorua system – geothermal monitoring programme

This presentation provides a summary of what geothermal monitoring the Regional Council does on the Rotorua Geothermal System, and how we use this information to help us better manage its use.

Current state of the Rotorua Geothermal System

This presentation provides an overview of what some of our key science measures are telling us about the current state of the Rotorua geothermal system.

Productive and Allocative Efficiency

Geothermal is an amazing natural phenomenon with many different values and possible uses, but its use can come at a high environmental cost if care is not taken.

This presentation discusses some of the ways we can do this.

Geothermal modelling presentation

Modelling of the Rotorua Geothermal System Listen to one of our scientists take you through some of the key geothermal modelling work undertaken for the Rotorua Geothermal System.


If you are unable to download a publication due to the file size, you can order a copy from us. An electronic copy will be free of charge. A small fee will be charged for a hard copy to cover the cost of printing.

If you would like to order an electronic version or hard copy of a publication please take note of the file reference e.g. Environmental Publication 2007/05.

You can send your request to with attention to: Library, or call 0800 884 880 and ask to speak to our librarian.

Additional publications are located under the Consultant publications heading on our publications page