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Authors: Inguaggiato, S.* 
Hidalgo, S.* 
Beate, B.* 
Bourquin, J.* 
Title: Preliminary geochemical characterization of volcanic and geothermal fluids discharged from the Ecuadorian volcanic arc.
Journal: Geofluids 
Series/Report no.: /10(2010)
Publisher: Blackwell
Issue Date: Oct-2010
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-8123.2010.00315.x
Keywords: gases
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.08. Volcanic arcs 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.01. Gases 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.07. Instruments and techniques 
Abstract: In Ecuador, magmatism results from the subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the North Western part of South America. North of 2.5°S, the Ecuadorian Quaternary volcanic arc is characterized by about 60 volcanoes distributed along three different parallel NNE-striking chains. Many of these volcanoes are potentially active or currently in activity displaying associated geothermal fields. South of this latitude, no active arc is present in Ecuador. Few geochemical studies of the discharged fluids in this region have been attempted, mainly related to geothermal exploration. Nevertheless, a complete study of the fluids of the volcanic arc is lacking. The aim of this work is to present the first systematic geochemical characterization of discharged fluids from the entire Ecuadorian volcanic arc. In order to achieve this objective, 56 samples of thermal and cold waters, as well as 32 dissolved and 27 bubbling gases, were collected from North to South across the arc and analyzed for determination of the main geochemical parameters. A chemical study reflects the physical and chemical processes undergone by these cold and thermal waters during their circulation through the different host rocks. The chemistry of the dissolved gases, are characterized by He and CO2 contents, 2 to 3 orders of magnitude higher than the ASW values implies very active gas-water interaction processes. Moreover, both dissolved and bubbling gases isotopic signature shows a wide compositional range, with Helium ranging between 0.1 to 7.12 R/Ra and carbon ranging from -1.75 to -10.50 13C(TDIC) vs PDB standard. Such isotopic features may be related to the presence of at least two distinct end-members: mantle and crustal.. Helium, Nitrogen, Carbon, Oxygen and Deuterium isotopic signatures will help us to identify and characterize the main end-members of fluids involved in Ecuador’s continental arc-volcanism. Moreover, on the basis of the chemistry of thermal waters and associated bubbling gases the characteristics and the potential resources of the different geothermal fields are being investigated.
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