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AuthorsFederico, C.* 
Aiuppa, A.* 
Favara, R.* 
Gurrieri, S.* 
Valenza, M.* 
TitleGeochemical monitoring of groundwaters (1998-2001) at Vesuvius volcano (Italy)
Issue Date2004
Series/Report no.133 (2004)
volcanic surveillance
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.03. Chemistry of waters 
03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.05. Gases 
03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.06. Hydrothermal systems 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
AbstractThis work presents the results of hydrogeochemical studies carried out at Vesuvius during the period May 1998 - December 2001, mostly focusing on compositional time variations observed during this time. Based on their chemistry, groundwater samples are distinguished into two groups, 1 and 2, representative of water circulation in the southern and northern sectors of the volcano, respectively. Waters from group 1 are typically more acidic, warmer,and more saline than those of group 2. They also have higher CO2 and CH4 contents, attributed to enhanced input of deep-rising volatiles and prolonged water-rock interactions. Time-series highlight the fairly constant chemical composition of the entire aquifer. Groundwater temperature, pH, bicarbonate content and dissolved CO2 display quite stable values in the study period, particularly in deep wells (piezometric level more than 100 m deep). Shallower water bodies present more evident temporal variations, related to seasonal and anthropogenic effects. This paper also describes some important variations in water chemistry which had occurred by the time of the seismic event in early October 1999, particularly in the Olivella spring located on the northern flank of the volcano. At this site, a great decrease in water pH and redox potential, and increased dissolved CO2 contents and 3He/4He ratios were observed. These changes in chemical and isotope composition support the hypothesis of an input of magma-derived helium and carbon dioxide into the aquifer feeding the Olivella spring by the time of the earthquake.
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