Our conceptual model of the Lassen system is termed a liquid-dominated hydrothermal system with a parasitic vapor-dominated zone. The essential feature of this model is that steam and steam-heated discharge at relatively high altitudes in Lassen Volcanic National Park (LVNP) and liquid discharge with high chloride concentrations at relatively low altitudes outside LVNP are both fed by an upflow of high-enthalpy two-phase fluid within the Park. Liquid flows laterally away from the upflow area toward the areas of high-chloride discharge, and steam rises through a vapor-dominated zone to feed the steam and steam-heated features. Numerical simulations show that several conditions are necessary for the development of this type of system, including (1) large-scale topographic relief; (2) an initial period of convective heating within an upflow zone followed by (3) a change in hydrologic or geologic conditions that initiates drainage of liquid from portions of the upflow zone; and (4) low-permeability barriers that inhibit the movement of cold water into the vapor zone. Refs.
Additional publication details
QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE LASSEN HYDROTHERMAL SYSTEM, NORTH CENTRAL CALIFORNIA.