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Authors: Todesco, M.* 
Rinaldi, A. P.* 
Bonafede, M.* 
Title: Modeling of unrest signals in heterogeneous hydrothermal systems
Issue Date: 30-Sep-2010
Series/Report no.: /115 (2010)
DOI: 10.1029/2010JB007474
Keywords: hydrothermal circulation
volcanic unrest
Subject Classification03. 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 
Abstract: Monitoring of quiescent volcanoes, such as Campi Flegrei (Italy), involves the measurement of geochemical and geophysical parameters that are expected to change as eruptive conditions approach. Some of these changes are associated with the hydrothermal activity that is driven by the release of heat and magmatic fluids. This work focuses on the properties of the porous medium and on their effects on the signals generated by the circulating fluids. The TOUGH2 porous media flow model is applied to simulate a shallow hydrothermal system fed by a source of magmatic fluids. The simulated activity of the source, with periods of increased fluid discharge, generates changes in gas composition, gravity, and ground deformation. The same boundary conditions and source activity were applied to simulate the evolution of homogeneous and heterogeneous systems, characterized by different rock properties. Phase distribution, fluid composition, and the related signals depend on the nature and properties of the rock sequence through which the fluids propagate. Results show that the distribution of porosity and permeability affects all the observable parameters, controlling the timing and the amplitude of their changes through space and time. Preferential pathways for fluid ascent favor a faster evolution, with larger changes near permeable channels. Slower changes over wider areas characterize less permeable systems. These results imply that monitoring signals do not simply reflect the evolution of the magmatic system: intervening rocks leave a marked signature that should be taken into account when monitoring data are used to infer system conditions at depth.
Description: An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright (2010) American Geophysical Union.
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