Heat flux from magmatic hydrothermal systems related to availability of fluid recharge

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
By: , and 

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Abstract

Magmatic hydrothermal systems are of increasing interest as a renewable energy source. Surface heat flux indicates system resource potential, and can be inferred from soil CO2 flux measurements and fumarole gas chemistry. Here we compile and reanalyze results from previous CO2 flux surveys worldwide to compare heat flux from a variety of magma-hydrothermal areas. We infer that availability of water to recharge magmatic hydrothermal systems is correlated with heat flux. Recharge availability is in turn governed by permeability, structure, lithology, rainfall, topography, and perhaps unsurprisingly, proximity to a large supply of water such as the ocean. The relationship between recharge and heat flux interpreted by this study is consistent with recent numerical modeling that relates hydrothermal system heat output to rainfall catchment area. This result highlights the importance of recharge as a consideration when evaluating hydrothermal systems for electricity generation, and the utility of CO2 flux as a resource evaluation tool.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Heat flux from magmatic hydrothermal systems related to availability of fluid recharge
Series title Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
DOI 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2015.07.003
Volume 302
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 12 p.
First page 225
Last page 236