Reaction path models of magmatic gas scrubbing

Di Napoli, Rossella; Aiuppa, Alessandro; Bergsson, Baldur; Ilyinskaya, Evgenia; Pfeffer, Melissa Anne; Guðjónsdóttir, Sylvía Rakel; Valenza, Mariano. 2016 Reaction path models of magmatic gas scrubbing. Chemical Geology, 420. 251-269.

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Gas–water–rock reactions taking place within volcano-hosted hydrothermal systems scrub reactive, water-soluble species (sulfur, halogens) from the magmatic gas phase, and as such play a major control on the composition of surface gas manifestations. A number of quantitative models of magmatic gas scrubbing have been proposed in the past, but no systematic comparison of model results with observations from natural systems has been carried out, to date. Here, we present the results of novel numerical simulations, in which we initialized models of hydrothermal gas–water–rock at conditions relevant to Icelandic volcanism. We focus on Iceland as an example of a “wet” volcanic region where scrubbing is widespread. Our simulations were performed (using the EQ3/6 software package) at shallow (temperature < 106 °C; low-T model runs) and deep hydrothermal reservoir (200–250 °C; high-T model runs) conditions. During the simulations, a high-temperature magmatic gas phase was added stepwise to an initial meteoric water, in the presence of a dissolving aquifer rock. At each step, the chemical compositions of coexisting aqueous solution and gas phase were returned by the model. The model-derived aqueous solutions have compositions that describe the maturation path of hydrothermal fluids, from immature, acidic Mg-rich waters, toward Na–Cl-rich mature hydrothermal brines. The modeled compositions are in fair agreement with measured compositions of natural thermal waters and reservoir fluids from Iceland. We additionally show that the composition of the model-generated gases is strongly temperature-dependent, and ranges from CO2(g)-dominated (for temperatures ≤ 80 °C) to H2O(g)-dominated (and more H2S(g) rich) for temperatures > 100 °C. We find that this range of model gas compositions reproduces well the (H2O-CO2-STOT) compositional range of reservoir waters and surface gas emissions in Iceland. From this validation of the model in an extreme end-member environment of high scrubbing, we conclude that EQ3/6-based reaction path simulations offer a realistic representation of gas–water–rock interaction processes occurring underneath active magmatic-hydrothermal systems.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 00092541
Date made live: 12 Apr 2016 13:17 +0 (UTC)

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