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The geochemistry of trace elements in geothermal fluids, Iceland
Nordic Volcanological Center, University of Iceland, Institute of Earth Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3382-1764
Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland.
Nagra.
Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland.
2015 (English)In: Applied Geochemistry, ISSN 0883-2927, E-ISSN 1872-9134, Vol. 62, p. 207-223Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Trace element geochemistry was studied in geothermal fluids in Iceland. The major and trace element compositions of hot springs, sub-boiling, and two-phase (liquid and vapor) wells from 10 geothermal areas were used to reconstruct the fluid composition in the aquifers at depth. Aquifer fluid temperatures ranged from 4 to 300 °C, pH values between 4.5 and 9.3, and fluids typically contained total dissolved solids <1000 ppm, except in geothermal areas that have seawater and seawater-meteoric water mixtures. Trace alkali elements Li, Rb and Cs are among the most mobile elements in aquifer fluids, with concentrations in the range of <1. ppb to 3.49 ppm Li, <0.01 to 57 ppb Cs, and <1 ppb to 3.77 ppm Rb. Their chemistry is thought to be dominated by rock leaching and partitioning into Na- and K-containing major alteration minerals. Arsenic, Sb, Mo and W are typically present in concentrations in the range of 1-100. ppb. They are relatively mobile, yet Mo may be limited by molybdenite solubility. The alkaline earth elements Ba and Sr are quite immobile with concentrations in the range of <0.1-10. ppb Ba and <1-100 ppb Sr in the dilute fluids, but up to 5.9 ppm Ba and 8.2 ppm Sr in saline fluids. These elements show a systematic relationship with Ca, possibly due to substitution for Ca in Ca-containing major alteration minerals like calcite, epidote and anhydrite. Incorporation into major Ca-minerals may also be important for Mn. Many metals including Fe, Cr, Ni, Zn, Cu, Co, Pb and Ag have low mobility and concentrations, typically <1. ppb for Ag, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, and Pb, <10 ppb for Zn and < 100 ppb for Fe, although for some metals higher concentrations are associated with saline fluids. Based on the metals assessed, saturation is approached with respect to many sulfide minerals and in some cases oxide minerals but Cu, Ni and Pb minerals are slightly but systematically undersaturated, and Ag phases significantly undersaturated. Evaluation of mineral-fluid equilibria for these metals is problematic due to their low concentrations, problems associated with assessing the aqueous species distribution by thermodynamic calculations, and uncertainties concerning the exact minerals possibly involved in such reactions. Reaction path calculations, poor comparison of concentrations measured in the samples collected at the wellhead and published downhole data as well as boiling, cooling and mass precipitation calculations suggest removal of many metals due to changes upon depressurization boiling and conductive cooling of the aquifer fluids as they ascend in wells. These results imply that processes such as mass precipitation upon fluid ascent may be highly important and emphasize the importance of considering mass movement in geothermal systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 62, p. 207-223
National Category
Geochemistry
Research subject
Tillämpad geokemi
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-5000DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2015.02.003Scopus ID: 84943661184Local ID: 3034d193-a6ca-468d-ba31-f1499376c86fOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-5000DiVA, id: diva2:977874
Note
Upprättat; 2015; 20160205 (hankas)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved

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Kaasalainen, Hanna

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