Introduction

The world Energy crisis and continued rise in fuel prices makes the search and exploitation of renewable, inexpensive, and environmentally clean energy resources an important priority. One promising resource is the Earth's thermal heat (Geothermal Energy). Geothermal energy can be observed at the Earth's surface in the form of thermal waters. This resource is renewable, exploitable, and cost-effective from economic and environmental points of view. Moreover, hydrothermal reservoirs

Seismic Monitoring Centre, Ilia State University, 77, Nuthubidze Str., 0177 Tbilisi, Georgia e-mail: [email protected]

have a wide range of applications that include agriculture, electricity, heating, perfumery, health spa, sanitation, and other purposes.

Georgia is rich in natural thermal waters and has long tradition of its use. There are many historic documents, archeological excavations, as well as names of rural settlements and towns (for example, Tbilisi, Tskhaltubo, Tskhal Tbila, abano, etc; the word "Tbilisi" means warm in the Georgian language), which point to a long practical experience with exploitation of thermal waters.

At the moment, there are about 250 natural thermal springs, artificial wells, and spring clusters with water temperatures in the range of 30-108°C. Given the number and thermal potential of observed resources, geothermal deposits in the Tbilisi region are the most promising; thus, the assessment of their conditions are regarded as an important national priority.

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