The evolution of volcano-hosted geothermal systems based on deep wells from Karaha-Telaga Bodas, Indonesia

American Journal of Science
By: , and 



Temperature and pressure surveys, fluid samples, and petrologic analyses of rock samples from deep drill holes at the Karaha - Telaga Bodas geothermal field on the volcanic ridge extending northward from Galunggung Volcano, West Java, have provided a unique opportunity to characterize the evolution of an active volcano-hosted geothermal system. Wells up to 3 km in depth have encountered temperatures as high as 353??C and a weakly altered granodiorite that intruded to within 2 to 3 km of the surface. The intrusion is shallowest beneath the southern end of the field where an acid lake overlies a nearly vertical low resistivity structure (<10 ohm-m) defined by magnetotelluric measurements. This structure is interpreted to represent a vapor-dominated chimney that provides a pathway to the surface for magmatic gases. Four distinct hydrothermal mineral assemblages document the evolution of the geothermal system and the transition from liquid- to vapor-dominated conditions. The earliest assemblage represents the initial liquid-dominated system generated during emplacement of the granodiorite between 5910 ?? 76 and 4200 ?? 150 y BP. Tourmaline, biotite, actinolite, epidote and clay minerals were deposited contemporaneously at progressively greater distances from the intrusive contact (assemblage 1). At 4200 ?? 150 y BP, flank collapse and the formation of the volcano's crater, Kawah Galunggung, resulted in catastrophic decompression and boiling of the hydrothermal fluids. This event initiated development of the modern vapor-dominated regime. Chalcedony and then quartz were deposited as the early low salinity liquids boiled (assemblage 2). Both vapor- and liquid-rich fluid inclusions were trapped in the quartz crystals. Liquid-rich fluid inclusions from the southern part of the field record salinities ranging from 0 to 26 weight percent NaCl- CaCl2 equivalent and locally contain fluorite daughter crystals. We suggest, based on temperature-salinity relationships and evidence of boiling, that these fluids were progressively concentrated as steam was lost from the system. However, mixing with fluids derived from the underlying intrusion or generated during the formation of acid SO4 water on the vapor-dominated chimney margins could have contributed to the observed salinities. As pressures declined, CO2- and SO4-rich steam-heated water drained downward, depositing anhydrite and calcite (assemblage 3) in the fractures, limiting further recharge. Fluid inclusions with salinities up to 31 weight percent NaCl equivalent were trapped in these minerals as the descending water vaporized. The final assemblage is represented by precipitates of NaCl, KCl and FeClx deposited on rock surfaces in portions of the vapor-dominated zone that boiled dry. Vapor-dominated conditions extend over a distance of at least 10 km and to depths below sea level. Deep wells drilled into the underlying liquid-dominated reservoir in the northern and central part of the volcanic ridge produce low salinity fluids representing recent recharge of meteoric and steam-heated water. The evolution of volcanic-hosted vapor-dominated geothermal systems can be described by a five stage model. Stage 1 involves the formation of an over-pressured liquid-dominated geothermal system soon after magmatic intrusion. In Stages 2 and 3, pressures progressively decrease, and a curtain of steam-heated water surrounding a magmatic vapor-dominated chimney at 350??C and 14 ?? 2 MPa develops. The relatively low pressure near the base of the chimney causes liquid inflow adjacent to the intrusion and the development of a secondary marginal vapor-dominated zone. In Stage 4, the magmatic vapor discharge from the intrusion becomes small, vapor pressure declines, and the secondary vapor-dominated zone expands above the intrusion. In Stage 5, the vapor-dominated zone floods because heat from the intrusion is insufficient to boil all liquid inflow. A more common, liquid-dominated volcanic-hosted system the

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The evolution of volcano-hosted geothermal systems based on deep wells from Karaha-Telaga Bodas, Indonesia
Series title American Journal of Science
DOI 10.2475/10.2008.01
Volume 308
Issue 1
Year Published 2008
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title American Journal of Science
First page 1
Last page 48
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