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Authors: Caracausi, A.* 
Ditta, M.* 
Italiano, F.* 
Longo, M.* 
Maugeri, R.* 
Nuccio, P. M.* 
Paonita, A.* 
Title: Inferences on physico-chemical conditions and gas-water interaction by new quantitative approaches: The case of Panarea (Italy)
Issue Date: 5-Jun-2004
Keywords: Submarine
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
Abstract: We have developed two new quantitative approaches to calculate temperatures in hydrothermal reservoirs by using the CO2-CH4-CO-H2 gaseous system and to model selective dissolution of CO2-H2S-N2-CH4-He-Ne mixtures in fresh and/or air saturated seawater. The anomalous outgassing starting November 2003 from the submarine exhalative system offshore Panarea island (Italy), was the occasion to apply such approaches to the extensive collection of volcanic gases. Gas geothermometry suggest the presence of a deep geothermal system at temperature up to 350°C and about 12 mol% CO2 in the vapor, which feeds the submarine emissions. Based on the fractional dissolution model, the rising geothermal vapor interacts with air-saturated seawater at low depths, dissolving 30-40% CO2 and even more H2S, modifying the pH of the aqueous solution and stripping the dissolved atmospheric volatiles (N2, Ne). Interaction of the liquid phase of the thermal fluids with country rocks, as well extensive mixing with seawater, have been also recognized and quantified. The measured output of hydrothermal fluids from Panarea exhalative field [1] accounts for the involvement of volatiles from an active degassing magma, nonetheless the climax of the investigated phenomenon is probably overcome and the system is new tending towards a steady-state. Our quantitative approaches allow us to monitor the geochemical indicators of the geothermal physico-chemical conditions and their potential evolution towards phreatic events or massive gas releases, which certainly are the main hazards to be expected in the area. The event at Panarea has in fact highlighted how hydrothermal systems can exhibit dramatic and sudden changes of their physico-chemical conditions and rate of fluid release, as a response to variable activity of feeding magmatic systems.
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