New MT surveys and 3D resistivity imaging beneath the Ngozi-Rungwe volcanoes at the triple rift junction of the East African Rift System in SW Tanzania: Support for integrated interpretations of geothermal conceptual models

Makoye Mabula Didas*, Egidio Armadillo, Gylfi Páll Hersir, William Cumming, Daniele Rizzello, Ásdís Benediktsdóttir, Halldór Geirsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The geothermal system related to the Ngozi and Rungwe volcanoes, SW Tanzania, lies at the intersection of the west and east branches of the East African Rift System and has been investigated by many geoscientists for decades. Here we present a 3D electrical resistivity model based on 190 magnetotelluric resistivity soundings that have been integrated with geochemical and geological results to support the development of the geothermal resource conceptual model presented here. The model includes two separate reservoirs, a larger system located beneath the Rungwe volcano and a smaller chloride water reservoir located under the Ngozi caldera, which contains a neutral chloride hot spring with geothermometry >230°C. An extensive conductive clay cap with variable thickness extends along the 30 km long NW-SE trending Ngozi-Rungwe Fault Zone from the Kiejo area SE of the Rungwe volcano to the Ngozi caldera. The absence of geothermal surface manifestations directly over the inferred Rungwe upflow zone is consistent with effective sealing of the proposed underlying geothermal reservoir by the clay cap. The scarcity of thermal manifestations on the up-dip margins of the low-resistivity clay cap can be explained by coincidence of the base of the clay cap with impermeable Precambrian formations and by structural boundaries. This interpretation implies that the area with the highest geothermal resource potential is the Rungwe volcano where proposed drilling sites might intersect the proposed high-temperature reservoir.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102893
JournalGeothermics
Volume118
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)

Other keywords

  • 3D MT inversion
  • Magnetotelluric
  • Ngozi-Rungwe Fracture Zone
  • Rungwe Volcanic Province
  • Rungwe-Ngozi Conductive Anomaly
  • Usangu Conductive Anomaly

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