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Rob Griffith / AP

New Zealand scientists recently found unexpectedly hot water while drilling into an earthquake fault in the country, according to a new study in Nature.

Why it matters: The 100-degree Celsius water, which would boil on the surface but remains a liquid because it is under pressure, could be used to generate electricity or provide direct heating. The Alpine Fault where it was found stretches for hundreds of miles — and is one of the most active earthquake faults in the world — but it is unclear how easy it would be to extract energy.

Why it's surprising: Usually geothermal energy is found around volcanic activity, but there aren't any volcanoes nearby where the researchers were drilling.

How the hot water was created: The researchers posit that earthquakes have moved hot rocks up from beneath the Earth's surface into the mountains, which have broken up from the shaking, therefore allowing rain and melted snow to trickle through the interior.

Go deeper

Muslim families hope to reunite following Biden's travel ban repeal

Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Muslim Americans across the U.S. are celebrating President Biden's day-1 reversal of former President Trump's travel ban that targeted several Muslim-majority countries.

The big picture: The repeal of what many critics called the "Muslim ban" renews hope for thousands of families separated by Trump's order.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  4. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  5. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries.
  6. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Health

Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's plan to accelerate the reopening of K-8 schools faces major challenges from a still out-of-control pandemic and more contagious coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The longer American kids miss in-person schooling, the further they fall behind. But the uncertain state of the science on the role young children play in the pandemic continues to complicate efforts to reopen schools.