An energy source

Hydroelectric energy production represents an important revenue for mountainous regions in many countries, including Italy. Melting glacier water guarantees a supply of great amounts of water even during summer and a great number of tanks and hydroelectric plants are supplied directly from glacier streams. Many examples can be on the Italian Alps, in northern mountainous regions such as Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta, Trentino-Alto Adige and Lombardy. On some glaciers, water is collected directly from inside the glaciers. Among the most famous, we can mention the Engabreen, in Norway, where in the water collection tunnels is installed an important glacial laboratory that allows to make observations on the inside of the glacier. Even on the Argentière Glacier, which descends on the French side of the Mount Blanc, in the Sixties were dug tunnels in the ice to harness melting glacier water but due to unforeseen variations in the direction of subglacial streams, the project didn’t have the expected success and the galleries have now been closed and converted into an underground laboratory for the study of basal erosion.

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