Steam samples from six wells (Colombaia, Pineta, Larderello 57, Larderello 155, Gabbro 6, and Gabbro 1) in a south to north section across the Larderello geothermal field have been analyzed for inorganic and hydrocarbon gases and for oxygen-18 and deuterium of steam. The wells generally decrease in depth and increase in age toward the south. The steam samples are generally characterized by (1) Total gas contents increasing south to north from 0.003 to 0.05 mole fraction; (2) Constant CO2 (95??2 percent); near constant H2S (1.6??0.8), N2 (1.2??0.8), H2 (2??1), CH4 (1.2??1), and no O2 in the dry gas; (3) Presence of numerous, straight chain and branched C2 to C6 hydrocarbons plus benzene in amounts independent of CH4 contents with highest concentrations in the deeper wells; (4) Oxygen-18 contents of steam increasing south to north from -5.0??? to -0.4??? with little change in deuterium (-42??2???). These observations are interpreted as showing: (1) Decreasing gas contents with amount of production because the proportion of steam boiled from liquid water increases with production; (2) Synthesis of CH4 from H2 and CO2 with CO2 and H2 produced by thermal metamorphism and rock-water reactions; (3) Extraction of C2 to C6 hydrocarbons from rock organic matter; (4) Either oxygen isotope exchange followed by distillation of steam from the north toward the south (2 plates at ???220??C) or mixture of deeper more-exchange waters from the north with shallow, less-exchanged recharging waters from the south. ?? 1978 Birkha??user Verlag.
Additional publication details
Gases and water isotopes in a geochemical section across the Larderello, Italy, geothermal field