Karaha-Telaga Bodas, a vapour-dominated geothermal system located in an active volcano in western Java, is penetrated by more than two dozen deep geothermal wells reaching depths of 3 km. Detailed paragenetic and fluid-inclusion studies from over 1000 natural fractures define the liquid-dominated, transitional and vapour-dominated stages in the evolution of this system. The liquid-dominated stage was initiated by ashallow magma intrusion into the base of the volcanic cone. Lava and pyroclastic flows capped a geothermal system. The uppermost andesite flows were only weakly fractured due to the insulating effect of the intervening altered pyroclastics, which absorbed the deformation. Shear and tensile fractures that developed were filled with carbonates at shallow depths, and by quartz, epidote and actinolite at depths and temperatures over 1 km and 300??C. The system underwent numerous cycles of overpressuring, documented by subhorizontal tensile fractures, anastomosing tensile fracture patterns and implosion breccias. The development of the liquidsystem was interrupted by a catastrophic drop in fluid pressures. As the fluids boiled in response to this pressure drop, chalcedony and quartz were selectively deposited in fractures that had the largest apertures and steep dips. The orientations of these fractures indicate that the escaping overpressured fluids used the shortest possible paths to the surface. Vapour-dominated conditions were initiated at this time within a vertical chimney overlying the still hot intrusion. As pressures declined, these conditions spread outward to form the marginal vapour-dominated region encountered in the drill holes. Downward migration of the chimney, accompanied by growth of the marginal vapour-dominated regime, occurred as the intrusion cooled and the brittle-ductile transition migrated to greater depths. As the liquids boiled off, condensate that formed at the top of the vapour-dominated zone percolated downward and low-salinity meteoric water entered the marginal parts of the system. Calcite, anhydrite and fluorite precipitated in fractures on heating. Progressive sealing of the fractures resulted in the downward migration of the cap rock. In response to decreased pore pressure in the expanding vapour zone, walls of the fracture system within the vapour-dominated reservoir progressively collapsed. It left only residual permeability in the remaining fracture volume, with apertures supported only by asperities or propping breccia. In places where normal stresses acting on the fracture walls exceeded the compressive strength of the wall rock, the fractures have completely collapsed. Fractures within the present-day cap rock include strike- and oblique-slip faults, normal faults and tensile fractures, all controlled by a strike-slip stress regime. The reservoir is characterized by normal faults and tensile fractures controlled by a normal-fault stress regime. The fractures show no evidence that the orientation of the stress field has changed since fracture propagation began. Fluid migration in the lava and pyroclastic flows is controlled by fractures. Matrix permeability controls fluid flow in the sedimentary sections of the reservoir. Productive fractures are typically roughly perpendicular to the minimum compressive stress, ??3, and are prone to slip and dilation within the modern stress regime. ?? The Geological Society of London 2004.
Additional publication details
Fracture development within a stratovolcano: The Karaha-Telaga Bodas geothermal field, Java volcanic arc