Volcanic lake systematics II. Chemical constraints
- J.C. Varekamp, G.B. Pasternack, G.L. Rowe Jr.
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A database of 373 lake water analyses from the published literature was compiled and used to explore the geochemical systematics of volcanic lakes. Binary correlations and principal component analysis indicate strong internal coherence among most chemical parameters. Compositional variations are influenced by the flux of magmatic volatiles and/or deep hydrothermal fluids. The chemistry of the fluid entering a lake may be dominated by a high-temperature volcanic gas component or by a lower-temperature fluid that has interacted extensively with volcanic rocks. Precipitation of minerals like gypsum and silica can strongly affect the concentrations of Ca and Si in some lakes. A much less concentrated geothermal input fluid provides the mineralized components of some more dilute lakes. Temporal variations in dilution and evaporation rates ultimately control absolute concentrations of dissolved constituents, but not conservative element ratios.
Most volcanic lake waters, and presumably their deep hydrothermal fluid inputs, classify as immature acid fluids that have not equilibrated with common secondary silicates such as clays or zeolites. Many such fluids may have equilibrated with secondary minerals earlier in their history but were re-acidified by mixing with fresh volcanic fluids. We use the concept of 'degree of neutralization' as a new parameter to characterize these acid fluids. This leads to a classification of gas-dominated versus rock-dominated lake waters. A further classification is based on a cluster analysis and a hydrothermal speedometer concept which uses the degree of silica equilibration of a fluid during cooling and dilution to evaluate the rate of fluid equilibration in volcano-hydrothermal systems.
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