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Authors: Venturi, S.* 
Tassi, F.* 
Bicocchi, G.* 
Cabassi, J.* 
Capecchiacci, F.* 
Capasso, Giorgio* 
Vaselli, O.* 
Ricci, A.* 
Grassa, Fausto* 
Title: Fractionation processes affecting the stable carbon isotope signature of thermal waters from hydrothermal/volcanic systems: The examples of Campi Flegrei and Vulcano Island (southern Italy)
Journal: Journal of volcanology and geothermal research 
Series/Report no.: /345 (2017)
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2017
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.08.001
Keywords: Thermal waters
Carbon isotopes
Dissolved CO2
Volcanic-hydrothermal systems
Secondary fractionation processes
Subject Classification04.08. Volcanology 
03.02. Hydrology 
Abstract: The carbon isotopic composition of dissolved C-bearing species is a powerful tool to discriminate the origin of carbon in thermal waters from volcanic and hydrothermal systems. However, the δ13C values of dissolved CO2 and TDIC (Total Dissolved Inorganic Carbon) are often different with respect to the isotopic signature that characterizes the potential carbon primary sources, i.e. deep hydrothermal reservoirs, magmatic gases and organic activity. The most commonly invoked explanation for such isotopic values is related to mixing processes between deep and shallow end-members. Nevertheless, experimental and empirical investigations demonstrated that isotopic fractionation due to secondary processes acting on the uprising fluids from the hydrothermal reservoirs is able to reproduce the measured isotopic values. In this paper,we investigated the chemistry of thermalwaters, collected at Campi Flegrei and Vulcano Island (southern Italy),whose origin is related to interaction processesamongmagmatic gases, meteoric water, seawater and hosting rocks. A special focus was dedicated to the δ13C values of dissolved CO2 (δ13CCO2(aq)) and total dissolved inorganic carbon (δ13CTDIC). The δ13CCO2(aq) and δ13CTDIC values in the water samples fromboth these systems ranged from(i) those measured in fumarolic gases, likely directly related to the deep hydrothermal-magmatic reservoir, and (ii) those typically characterizing biogenic CO2, i.e. produced by microbially-driven degradation of organic matter. A simple mixingmodel of the two end-members, apparently explaining these intermediate carbon isotopic values, contrastswith the chemical composition of the dissolved gases. On the contrary, isotopic fractionation due to secondary processes, such as calcite precipitation, affecting hydrothermal fluids during their underground circulation, seems to exhaustively justify both the chemical and isotopic data. If not recognized, these processes, which frequently occur in volcanic and hydrothermal systems, may lead to an erroneous interpretation of the carbon source, causing an underestimation of the contribution of the hydrothermal/magmatic fluids to the dissolved carbon species. These results pose extreme caution in the interpretation of intermediate δ13CCO2(aq) and δ13CTDIC values for the assessment of the carbon budget of hydrothermal- volcanic systems.
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