Noncondensible gases from hot springs, fumaroles, and deep wells within the Valles caldera geothermal system (210-300??C) consist of roughly 98.5 mo1% CO2, 0.5 mol% H2S, and 1 mol% other components. 3He/4He ratios indicate a deep magmatic source (R/Ra up to 6) whereas ??13C-CO2 values (-3 to -5???) do not discriminate between a mantle/magmatic source and a source from subjacent, hydrothermally altered Paleozoic carbonate rocks. Regional gases from sites within a 50-km radius beyond Valles caldera are relatively enriched in CO2 and He, but depleted in H2S compared to Valles gases. Regional gases have R/Ra values ???1.2 due to more interaction with the crust and/or less contribution from the mantle. Carbon sources for regional CO2 are varied. During 1982-1998, repeat analyses of gases from intracaldera sites at Sulphur Springs showed relatively constant CH4, H2, and H2S contents. The only exception was gas from Footbath Spring (1987-1993), which experienced increases in these three components during drilling and testing of scientific wells VC-2a and VC-2b. Present-day Valles gases contain substantially less N2 than fluid inclusion gases trapped in deep, early-stage, post-caldera vein minerals. This suggests that the long-lived Valles hydrothermal system (ca. 1 Myr) has depleted subsurface Paleozoic sedimentary rocks of nitrogen. When compared with gases from many other geothermal systems, Valles caldera gases are relatively enriched in He but depleted in CH4, N2 and Ar. In this respect, Valles gases resemble end-member hydrothermal and magmatic gases discharged at hot spots (Galapagos, Kilauea, and Yellowstone). Published by Elsevier Science B.V.
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Gas geochemistry of the Valles caldera region, New Mexico and comparisons with gases at Yellowstone, Long Valley and other geothermal systems