Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/7078
AuthorsPeiffer, L.* 
Taran, Y.* 
Lounejeva, E.* 
Solis-Pichardo, G.* 
Rouwet, D.* 
Bernard-Romero, R.* 
TitleTracing thermal aquifers of El Chichón volcano-hydrothermal system (México) with 87Sr/86Sr, Ca/Sr and REE
Issue Date15-Aug-2011
Series/Report no.3-4/205(2011)
DOI10.1016/j.volgeores.2011.06.004
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/2122/7078
Keywordshydrogeochemistry
geothermal systems
Sr isotopes
REE
El Chichón Volcano
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.02. Hydrology::03.02.03. Groundwater processes 
03. 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::04.08.01. Gases 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.08. Volcanic risk 
AbstractThe volcano–hydrothermal system of El Chichón volcano, Chiapas, Mexico, is characterized by numerous thermal manifestations including an acid lake, steam vents and boiling springs in the crater and acid and neutral hot springs and steaming ground on the flanks. Previous research on major element chemistry reveals that thermal waters of El Chichón can be divided in two groups: (1) neutral waters discharging in the crater and southern slopes of the volcano with chloride content ranging from 1500 to 2200 mg/l and (2) acid-toneutral waters with Cl up to 12,000 mg/l discharging at the western slopes. Our work supports the concept that each group of waters is derived from a separate aquifer (Aq. 1 and Aq. 2). In this study we apply Sr isotopes, Ca/Sr ratios and REE abundances along with the major and trace element water chemistry in order to discriminate and characterize these two aquifers. Waters derived from Aq. 1 are characterized by 87Sr/86Sr ratios ranging from 0.70407 to 0.70419, while Sr concentrations range from 0.1 to 4 mg/l and Ca/Sr weight ratios from 90 to 180, close to average values for the erupted rocks. Waters derived from Aq. 2 have 87Sr/86Sr between 0.70531 and 0.70542, high Sr concentrations up to 80 mg/l, and Ca/Sr ratio of 17–28. Aquifer 1 is most probably shallow, composed of volcanic rocks and situated beneath the crater, within the volcano edifice. Aquifer 2 may be situated at greater depth in sedimentary rocks and by some way connected to the regional oil-gas field brines. The relative water output (l/s) from both aquifers can be estimated as Aq. 1/Aq. 2– 30. Both aquifers are not distinguishable by their REE patterns. The total concentration of REE, however, strongly depends on the acidity. All neutral waters including high-salinity waters from Aq. 2 have very low total REE concentrations (b0.6 μg/l) and are characterized by a depletion in LREE relative to El Chichón volcanic rock, while acid waters from the crater lake (Aq. 1) and acid AS springs (Aq. 2) have parallel profile with total REE concentration from 9 to 98 μg/l. The highest REE concentration (207 μg/l) is observed in slightly acid shallow cold Ca-SO4 ground waters draining fresh and old pyroclastic deposits rich in magmatic anhydrite. It is suggested that the main mechanism controlling the concentration of REE in waters of El Chichón is the acidity. As low pH results from the shallow oxidation of H2S contained in hydrothermal vapors, REE distribution in thermal waters reflects the dissolution of volcanic rocks close to the surface or lake sediments as is the case for the crater lake.
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