Partial equilibrium conditions occur between fluids and secondary minerals in the Valles hydrothermal system, contained principally in the Tertiary rhyolitic Bandelier Tuff. The mass transfer processes are governed by reactive phase compositions, surface areas, water-rock ratios, reaction rates, and fluid residence times. Experimental dissolution of the vitric phase of the tuff was congruent with respect to Cl in the solid and produced reaction rates which obeyed a general Arrhenius release rate between 250 and 300??C. The 18O differences between reacted and unreacted rock and fluids, and mass balances calculations involving Cl in the glass phase, produced comparable water-rock ratios of unity, confirming the importance of irreversible reaction of the vitric tuff. A fluid residence time of approximately 2 ?? 103 years, determined from fluid reservoir volume and discharge rates, is less than 0.2% of the total age of the hydrothermal system and denotes a geochemically and isotopically open system. Mass transfer calculations generally replicated observed reservoir pH, Pco2, and PO2 conditions, cation concentrations, and the secondary mineral assemblage between 250 and 300??C. The only extraneous component required to maintain observed calcite saturation and high Pco2 pressures was carbon presumably derived from underlying Paleozoic limestones. Phase rule constraints indicate that Cl was the only incompatible aqueous component not controlled by mineral equilibrium. Concentrations of Cl in the reservoir directly reflect mass transport rates as evidenced by correlations between anomalously high Cl concentrations in the fluids and tuff in the Valles caldera relative to other hydrothermal systems in rhyolitic rocks. ?? 1992.
Additional publication details
Mass transfer constraints on the chemical evolution of an active hydrothermal system, Valles caldera, New Mexico