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Authors: Inguaggiato, S.* 
Taran, Y.* 
Grassa, F.* 
Capasso, G.* 
Favara, R.* 
Varley, N.* 
Faber, E.* 
Title: Nitrogen isotopes in thermal fluids of a forearc region (Jalisco Block, Mexico): evidence for heavy nitrogen from continental crust
Issue Date: 2004
Series/Report no.: 12/5(2004)
DOI: 10.1029/2004GC000767
Keywords: bubbling gases
forearc region
Jalisco Block-Mexico
nitrogen isotopes
subduction-related volcanism
Subject Classification03. 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::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.06. Subduction related processes 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.01. Gases 
05. General::05.02. Data dissemination::05.02.01. Geochemical data 
Abstract: The Jalisco Block (JB) is a geologically and tectonically complex part of northwestern Mexico characterized by active subduction-type volcanism, rifting, and old stable structures. Thermal springs and groups of springs are widely distributed over JB. Bubbling gas from seven thermal springs located within different tectonic environments of the JB was analyzed for He, 20Ne, and N2 concentrations and d15N ratios. All gases are N2-dominant (>84%) with the exception of one sample (Rio´ Purificacio´n), which has a significant CH4 content (about 50%). All collected gas samples are relatively high in He, up to 1500 ppm vol and with 3He/4He values ranging from 0.6 to 4.5 Ra. All measured nitrogen isotope ratios are heavier than air with d15N values ranging from 0.5 to 5.0%. The relative N2 excess with respect to air-saturated water computed on the basis of N2 and 20Ne contents indicates the contribution of a nonatmospheric N2 source. All the samples show a good correlation between d15N and the relative excess of N2 with d15N +5.3% for the maximum N2 excess of 100%. Due to a presumed lack of seafloor sediment involved in the subduction process, such a d15N positive value seems to reflect the addition to the fluids of a heavy nitrogen originating from metamorphism processes of rocks occurring within the overlying continental crust.
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