Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse     
Ruggieri G., Cathelineau M., Boiron M. C., Marignac C. Boiling and fluid mixing in the chlorite zone of the Larderello geothermal system. In: Chemical Geology, vol. 154 (1-4) pp. 237 - 256. Elsevier, 1999.
The geochemical features of the geothermal fluids produced within the boiling zone in the relatively shallow parts of the Larderello geothermal system_Italy, have been documented as a result of deep drilling which provided samples from 1480 to 2500 m depth. Four wells (Monteverdi 1, Monteverdi 2A, Sasso 22 and Capannoli 2B) have been sampled in the intermediate parts of the Larderello aquifer located in a metamorphic basement underlying the Tertiary nappe complex which constitutes the shallow aquifer at Larderello. Fluid inclusions from recrystallized quartz lenses and quartz veins in samples displaying a predominant quartz-chlorite-(epidote-adularia) paragenesis have been studied by microthermometry and Raman spectroscopy. The inclusions are primary and pseudo-secondary in origin when formed in authigenic quartz, or of secondary origin, when located in fluid inclusion planes related to microfracturing of metamorphic quartz lenses. Several generations of fluids are present and include: H2O-(CO2)-dominated vapours and liquids, and a series of aqueous liquids, for the most part of relatively low salinity. The Tm-ice of both early and late inclusions are mostly between 0.0 and -4.5C, indicating that the salinities of the hydrothermal fluid were very low to moderate. However, rare fluid inclusions with lower Tm-ice (from -4.9 to -25.0C)were also observed. These inclusions may record the occasional input of saline fluids, which may be derived from the interaction of the hydrothermal waters with the evaporites present in the shallow part of the Larderello field. At Capannoli 2B, earliest H2O-(CO2) liquids were trapped under minimal pressures of 610-645 bars, which bracket the estimated present-day lithostatic pressure (640 bars). In all other samples, the main stage of quartz-chlorite crystallization occurs under boiling conditions attested by the presence of liquid and vapour-rich inclusions, that, in some instances, can be texturally interpreted to be coeval. Their trapping conditions (350-375C, 160-215 bars) are higher than the present day temperatures at the same depth. Later fluid inclusions attest to a significant cooling of the fluids down to temperatures similar to the present-day temperatures. During this time, pressures were close to hydrostatic conditions. Most fluid inclusions were trapped within the liquid field, this indicating that a significant pressure drop has since affected the main aquifers or fractured zones which are, at present, under vaporstatic conditions
URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/chemical-geology
Subject petrography and mineralogy

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