Chemical And Isotopic Changes In The Hydrology Of The Tauhara Geothermal Field Due To Exploitation At Wairakei

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Journal Article: Chemical And Isotopic Changes In The Hydrology Of The Tauhara Geothermal Field Due To Exploitation At Wairakei

Abstract
Depressurisation of the Tauhara field due to massive withdrawal of deep chloride water from the adjacent Wairakei field for geothermal power has caused considerably hydrological and chemical changes at Tauhara. In the undisturbed state (1962), deep chloride water discharged as hot and boiling dilute chloride springs on the east and west flanks of the field (the Terrace and Spa areas, respectively), while steam from the two-phase zone of the deep system produced by absorption into near-surface groundwater, steam-heated sulphatebicarbonate waters and by mixing with chloride water, chloride-sulphate waters. By 1978-1981 the chloride waters had stopped discharging on the western flank, the steam flow towards the surface had greatly increased (by 5-10 fold) increasing the volume and temperature of the steam-heated waters, but the dilute chloride waters of the Terrace area had changed very little. Silica concentrations in the near-surface waters appear to be controlled by the solubility of amorphous silica, which is present in the surface zone rocks (e.g., Taupo pumice breccias). The increased steam flow led to enrichment in the 13O and D contents of the steam-heated waters by loss of secondary steam and enlargement of the area and intensity of steaming ground, the latter accompanied by hydrothermal eruptions in 1974 and 1981. Generation of the steam-heated waters has been modelled using mass, heat and isotope balances. The model is consistent with observed heat and cold groundwater flows and requires that a large proportion of the heat from adsorbed primary steam is released as secondary steam. Tritium contents show that the steam-heated waters have a mean residence time of 50-100 years. In the future, invasion of the deep system by cooler surface waters may reduce steam flow and lower surface aquifer temperatures.

Authors 
R. W. Henley and M. K. Stewart








Published Journal 
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 1983





DOI 
Not Provided
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Citation

R. W. Henley,M. K. Stewart. 1983. Chemical And Isotopic Changes In The Hydrology Of The Tauhara Geothermal Field Due To Exploitation At Wairakei. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. (!) .