Where it is

With reference to the “plate tectonics” theory (according to which the earth’s crust can be divided into approximately 20 micro-areas called “plates” which every year move between zero and 18 centimetres), the hottest geothermal areas of the globe are generally positioned along the breaking and collision margins of the plates.
The breaking of a plate causes long cracks on the earth’s crust, through which the magma reaches the surface (the Iceland Rift, The Red Sea/Rift Valley system, the Baikal lake).
The collision between two plates causes the compression and lifting of the margins: in the case of oceanic plates, island arches such as the Antilles and the Japanese archipelagos; in the case of an oceanic and a continental plate, continental ranges emerge such as the Andes. If both plates are continental, the lifting of the margins leads to the formation of mountain ranges such as the Alps or Himalayas.
Important geothermal areas are “hot spots” such as Hawaii, Galapagos, Canaries and the area included between Tuscany and northern Lazio in Italy.
The continental plates include large sedimentary basins with low-temperature geothermal resources such as those in France, Hungary and China.
From the geothermal viewpoint, Italy is the hottest area in Europe although the exploitation of its geothermal resources has been so far developed only in the central and northern regions.

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