Results of exploration drilling combined with results of geologic, geophysical, and hydrogeochemical investigations have been used to construct a geochemical model of the Platanares geothermal system, Honduras. Three coreholes were drilled, two of which produced fluids from fractured Miocene andesite and altered Cretaceous to Eocene conglomerate at 450 to 680 m depth. Large volume artesian flows of 160-165??C, predominantly bicarbonate water are chemically similar to, but slightly less saline than widespread boiling hot-spring waters. The chemistry of the produced fluid is dominated by equilibrium reactions in sedimentary rocks at greater depths and higher temperatures than those measured in the wells. Chemical, isotope, and gas geothermometers indicate a deep fluid temperature of 200-245??C and reflect a relatively short residence time in the fractures feeding the wells. Chloride-enthalpy relations as well as isotopic and chemical compositions of well discharges, thermal springs, and local cold waters support a conceptual model of ascending high-temperature (minimum 225??C) parent fluid that has cooled conductively to form the 160-165??C shallow (to 680 m) fluid encountered by the wells. The hot-spring waters are formed by boiling and steam loss from more or less conductively cooled parent fluid. The more dilute boiling spring waters (Cl = ???32 mg/kg) have cooled from > 225??C to about 160??C by conduction and from 160??C to 98??C by boiling. The most concentrated boiling spring waters (Cl = 37 mg/kg) have cooled from > 225??C to about 200??C by conduction and from 200??C to 98??C by boiling. Intermediate concentrations reflect mixed cooling paths. ?? 1991.
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A geochemical model of the Platanares geothermal system, Honduras