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Authors: Tassi, F.* 
Nisi, B.* 
Cardellini, C.* 
Capecchiacci, F.* 
Donnini, M.* 
Vaselli, O.* 
Avino, R.* 
Chiodini, G.* 
Title: Diffuse soil emission of hydrothermal gases (CO2, CH4, and C6H6) at Solfatara crater (Campi Flegrei, southern Italy)
Journal: Applied geochemistry 
Series/Report no.: /35 (2013) Elsevier Science Limited
Issue Date: 2013
DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2013.03.020
Keywords: hydrothermal gases
Solfatara crater
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.02. Hydrology::03.02.04. Measurements and monitoring 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.12. Fluid Geochemistry 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.01. Gases 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.07. Instruments and techniques 
Abstract: Measurements of soil fluxes of hydrothermal gases, with special emphasis on C6H6, as well as chemical composition of mono-aromatic compounds in fumaroles and air, were carried out in April 2012 at the Solfatara crater (Campi Flegrei, Southern Italy) to investigate the distribution and behavior of these species as they migrate through the soil from their deep source to the atmosphere. Soil fluxes of CO2, CH4 and C6H6 exhibit good spatial correlation, suggesting that diffuse degassing is mainly controlled by local fractures. The calculated total output of diffuse C6H6 from Solfatara is 0.10 kg day 1, whereas fluxes of CO2 and CH4 are 79 103 and 1.04 kg day 1, respectively. A comparison between soil gas fluxes and fumarole composition reveals that within the crater soil CH4 is significantly affected by oxidation processes, which are more efficient for low gas fluxes, being dependent on the residence time of the uprising hydrothermal gases at shallow depth. Benzene degradation, mainly proceeding through oxidation via benzoate, seems to be strongly controlled by the presence of a shallow SO2 4 -rich aquifer located in the central and southwestern sectors of the crater, suggesting that the process is particularly efficient when SO2 4 acts as terminal electron acceptor (SO4 reduction). Relatively high C6H6/C7H8 ratios, typical of hydrothermal fluids, were measured in air close to the main fumarolic field of Solfatara crater. Here, C6H6 concentrations, whose detection limit is 0.1 lgm 3, are more than one order of magnitude higher than the limit value for ambient air (5 lgm 3). This suggests that hydrothermal fluids have a strong impact on air quality in the immediate surroundings of the fumarolic vents. Significant concentrations of endogenous mono-aromatics were also detected in air samples collected from the northern and western sides of the crater, where these gas compounds are mostly fed by diffuse degassing through the crater bottom soil.
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