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Authors: Todesco, M.* 
Berrino, G.* 
Title: Modeling hydrothermal fluid circulation and gravity signals at the Phlegraean Fields caldera
Issue Date: 2005
Series/Report no.: 240
DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2005.09.016
Keywords: Phlegraean Fields
Gas composition
Hydrothermal circulation
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.03. Geodesy::04.03.05. Gravity variations 
04. Solid Earth::04.03. Geodesy::04.03.06. Measurements and monitoring 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
Abstract: The Phlegraean Fields caldera is an active volcanic system where episodes of ground deformation are accompanied by significant changes in geochemical and geophysical parameters monitored at the surface. These changes derive from a complex interaction between magmatic system and hydrothermal fluid circulation. We calculate the gravity changes associated with the variable density of hydrothermal fluids. We simulate the multi-phase and multi-component fluid circulation triggered by a pulsating magma degassing, periodically increasing the discharge of CO2-enriched fluids into the shallow hydrothermal system. The simulated evolution of the hydrothermal system successfully reproduces the observed composition of gas discharged at the surface. At the same time, results indicate that changes in average fluid density generate a detectable gravity signal that is of the same order of magnitude of the observed changes. This contribution to gravity changes can explain the peculiar behavior of gravity data collected at Solfatara, where surface hydrothermal phenomena are present. Simultaneous fitting of two independent sets of monitoring data (gas composition and gravity changes) confirms the conceptual model proposed for the hydrothermal system at Solfatara, and it provides new insights for the interpretation of gravity data.
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