Meteoric waters from cold springs and streams outside of the 1912 eruptive deposits filling the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes (VTTS) and in the upper parts of the two major rivers draining the 1912 deposits have similar chemical trends. Thermal springs issue in the mid-valley area along a 300-m lateral section of ash-flow tuff, and range in temperature from 21 to 29.8??C in early summer and from 15 to 17??C in mid-summer. Concentrations of major and minor chemical constituents in the thermal waters are nearly identical regardless of temperature. Waters in the downvalley parts of the rivers draining the 1912 deposits are mainly mixtures of cold meteoric waters and thermal waters of which the mid-valley thermal spring waters are representative. The weathering reactions of cold waters with the 1912 deposits appear to have stabilized and add only subordinate amounts of chemical constituents to the rivers relative to those contributed by the thermal waters. Isotopic data indicate that the mid-valley thermal spring waters are meteoric, but data is inconclusive regarding the heat source. The thermal waters could be either from a shallow part of a hydrothermal system beneath the 1912 vent region or from an incompletely cooled, welded tuff lens deep in the 1912 ash-flow sheet of the upper River Lethe area. Bicarbonate-sulfate waters resulting from interaction of near-surface waters and the cooling 1953-1968 southwest Trident plug issue from thermal springs south of Katmai Pass and near Mageik Creek, although the Mageik Creek spring waters are from a well-established, more deeply circulating hydrothermal system. Katmai caldera lake waters are a result of acid gases from vigorous drowned fumaroles dissolving in lake waters composed of snowmelt and precipitation. ?? 1992.
Additional Publication Details
Geochemistry of waters in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes region, Alaska