Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse     
Minissale A., Vaselli O., Mattash M., Montegrossi G., Tassi F., Ad-Dukhain A., Kalberkamp U., Al-Sabri A., Al-Kohlani T. Geothermal prospecting by geochemical methods in the Quaternary volcanic province of Dhamar (central Yemen). In: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, vol. 249 (January) pp. 95 - 108. Elsevier, 2013.
This paper deals with geothermal prospecting carried out in the Quaternary volcanic field of Dhamar, which is located almost in the centre of the main Oligo-Miocene basaltic trap plateau of Yemen. By applying geochemical and thermometric techniques in domestic wells producing water from the shallow unconfined aquifer in the area, which is prevalently hosted inside the Quaternary volcano-clastic material, a closed thermal anomaly associated with the Quaternary volcanic activity was well delineated. Although the aquifer(s) has a Ca-Na-HCO3 composition, that is typical of shallow groundwater, there are several chemical anomalies in the hotter central area compared to typical aquifers: i) the pH is lower and, consequently, the calculated partial pressure of CO2 in solution is higher, ii) the electrical conductivity is higher, iii) the total salinity is higher and iv) the fluoride ion concentration is higher. Such chemical anomalies in the hotter part of the aquifer do not seem to be generated by the rising and/or mixing of deep hydrothermal components rising into the shallow aquifer, but rather produced by enhanced water-rock interaction processes resulting from the higher temperature of the aquifer and its greater acidity. By applying some speculative calculations, based on the likely temperature of rainfall in the area and the depth and temperature of individual wells, the local thermal gradients in the area have been calculated. The thermal gradient varies from less than the average Earth gradient at the periphery of the delimitated thermal anomaly, to more than 250 C/km, within an extensive area (exceeding 200 km2) where the gradient is greater than 100/120 C/km.
URL: http://https://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-volcanology-and-geothermal-research/
Subject geothermal prospecting
thermal anomaly
quaternary volcanism

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