Gas chemistry of Icelandic thermal fluids

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Abstract

The chemistry of gases in thermal fluids from Iceland was studied in order to evaluate the sources and processes affecting volatile concentrations in volcanic geothermal systems at divergent plate boundaries. The fluids included vapor fumaroles and two-phase well discharges with temperatures of ~ 100–340 °C. The vapor was dominated by H2O accounting for 62–100 mol% and generally for > 99 mol%, with CO2, H2S and H2 being the dominant gases followed by N2, CH4, and Ar. Overall mineral-gas and gas-gas equilibria were not observed for the major gases, including CO2, H2S, H2 and CH4 within the geothermal reservoirs. Instead the system proved to be controlled by source(s) and their ratios and various metastable equilibria along a fluid-rock reaction progress with gas concentrations controlled by such metastable equilibria varying at particular temperatures as a functional extent of reaction. The concentrations of H2S and H2 closely reflect mineral-fluid metastable equilibria, whereas CO2 concentrations are controlled by the input of magma gas corresponding to > 0.1 to < 5% mass input. With fluid ascent to the surface, boiling and condensation may occur, further changing the gas concentrations and hence surface fumaroles may not reflect the reservoir fluid characteristics but rather secondary processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-94
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Volume346
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Other keywords

  • Equilibrium
  • Fluid
  • Hydrothermal

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