Preliminary isotopic studies of Cerro Prieto geothermal fluids and earlier studies of Mexicali Valley ground waters suggest local recharge of the geothermal system from the area immediately to the west. Oxygen isotope exchange of water with reservoir rock minerals at temperatures increasing with depth has produced fluids with oxygen-18 contents increasing with depth, and pressure drawdown in the southeastern part of the field has allowed lower oxygen-18 fluids to invade the production aquifer from above. The contents of tritium and carbon-14 in the fluid suggest only that the age of the fluid is between 50 and 10,000 years. The isotopic compositions of carbon and sulfur are consistent with a magmatic origin of these elements but a mixed sedimentary-organic origin appears more likely for carbon and is also possible for sulfur. Investigations of the isotopic compositions of geothermal and cold ground waters continue and are being expanded as fluids become available and as separation and analysis methods are improved. ?? 1979.
Additional Publication Details
Preliminary isotopic studies of fluids from the Cerro Prieto geothermal field