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Authors: Carreira, P.*
Marques, J.M.*
Carvalho, M.R.*
Capasso, G.* 
Grassa, F.* 
Nunes, D.*
Nunes, J.C.*
Title: Stable isotope feature of groundwaters from Graciosa volcanic Island (Azores) – preliminary results
Issue Date: 4-Aug-2011
DOI: 10.1556/CEuGeol.54.2011.1–2.13
Keywords: Water isotope
Graziosa Island
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.03. Chemistry of waters 
03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.06. Hydrothermal systems 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.12. Fluid Geochemistry 
Abstract: The Azores archipelago is made of nine islands all of volcanic origin and a few islets located in the North Atlantic Ocean, about 1800 km west of Portuguese mainland at the triple junction of the Eurasian, North American and Nubian plates (Azores Triple Junction = ATJ). Graciosa Island is part of the Central Group of Azores archipelago and is located on the Terceira Rift, a major tectonic feature of the ATJ. The main hydrothermal manifestations at Graciosa Island occur in the Caldeira volcano (SE part of the island), and particularly inside the huge (150 m wide, 80 m high) Furna do Enxofre lava cave located in the Caldeira, where a bubbling mud pool releases steam and gases, leading to the accumulation of CO2 at the bottom of the cave, filled by a coldwater subterranean lake. Three field work campaigns were carried out at Graciosa Island and 14 water samples have been collected, from boreholes, springs and the subterranean lake for isotopic (18O, 2H and 3H) and chemical analysis. The groundwater samples were plotted along the GMWL, and two water groups were identified in the 18O vs. 2H diagram. The splitting up of the samples is even more visible when the O-18 content is plotted as a function of the temperature or as a function of the electrical conductivity. Besides the differences in mineralization and temperature observed in the groundwater samples from Graciosa Island, an isotopic shift towards more enriched values is also observed. The salinity and isotopic content seems to indicate not a simple mixture between two end-members, i.e. seawater – fresh water: another process of mineralization and isotope enrichment must be considered in this active volcanic environment. A hypothesis to be formulated is that the source of salts could be associated to mixing with boiling seawater, that by evaporation will be able to: i) increase groundwater salinity, ii) strongly change the 2H content to more enriched values, and iii) absent or limited variation in d18O content.
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