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The Geysers-Clear Lake area, California: thermal waters, mineralization, volcanism, and geothermal potential

Economic Geology

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, , , , and

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Abstract

Manifestations of a major thermal anomaly in the Geysers-Clear Lake area of northern California include the late Pliocene to Holocene Clear Lake Volcanics, The Geysers geothermal field, abundant thermal springs, and epithermal mercury and gold mineralization. The epithermal mineralization and thermal springs typically occur along high-angle faults within the broad San Andreas transform fault system that forms the western boundary of the North American plate in this area. The young volcanic rocks overlie Mesozoic marine rocks of the Great Valley sequence which have been thrust above the coeval Franciscan Complex and penecontemporaneously dropped back down along low-angle detachment faults. Geothermal power production has peaked at The Geysers and pressure declines indicate significant depletion of the fluid resource. It is proposed that recently discovered, isotopically shifted steam in the northwest Geysers area indicates the presence not of deep connate water but rather of boiled-down, boron-rich Franciscan evolved meteoric water. This water is likely to be present in limited quantities and will not provide a significant hot water resource for geothermal power production at The Geysers field or from the main Clear Lake volcanic field. -from Authors

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
The Geysers-Clear Lake area, California: thermal waters, mineralization, volcanism, and geothermal potential
Series title:
Economic Geology
Volume
88
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1993
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Economic Geology
First page:
301
Last page:
316
Number of Pages:
16