Recent drilling and sampling of hydrothermal fluids from Long Valley permit an accurate characterization of chemical concentrations and equilibrium conditions in the hydrothermal reservoir. Hydrothermal fluids are thermodynamically saturated with secondary quartz, calcite, and pyrite but are in disequilibrium with respect to aqueous sulfide-sulfate speciation. Hydrothermal fluids are enriched in 18O by approximately 1??? relative to recharge waters. 18O and Cl concentrations in well cuttings and core from high-temperature zones of the reservoir are extensively depleted relative to fresh rhyolitic tuff compositions. Approximately 80% of the Li and 50% of the B are retained in the altered reservoir rock. Cl mass balance and open-system 18O fractionation models produce similar water-rock ratios of between 1.0 and 2.5 kg kg-1. These water-rock ratios coupled with estimates of reservoir porosity and density produce a minimum fluid residence time of 1.3 ka. The low fluid Cl concentrations in Long Valley correlate with corresponding low rock concentrations. Mass balance calculations indicate that leaching of these reservoir rocks accounts for Cl losses during hydrothermal activity over the last 40 ka. ?? 1991.
Additional publication details
Chemical equilibrium and mass balance relationships associated with the Long Valley hydrothermal system, California, U.S.A.