Evidence for a Crustal Heat Source for Low-Temperature Geothermal Systems in the Central Alaskan Hot Springs Belt

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Journal Article: Evidence for a Crustal Heat Source for Low-Temperature Geothermal Systems in the Central Alaskan Hot Springs Belt

Abstract
3He/4He isotopic data suggests that low-temperature geothermalsystems in the Central Alaskan Hot Springs Belt (CAHSB) areheated by a crustal heat source. The overall rate of circulation inCAHSB systems appears to be low, with minimum fluid residenceages of 170,000 years.Heat production from nearby Cretaceous to Tertiary ageplutons is anomalously high due to significant concentrations ofradioactive elements U, Th and K. High heat production in granitesmay be responsiblehfor local elevation of the geothermal gradientin hot springs areas. Small-scale fractures and faults provide thepermeable pathways for fluid circulation. Shear strain in a backarcfault-block-rotation setting is likely keeping those pathways open.Hence, CAHSB geothermal fluids have acquired their heat bydescending to relatively shallow crustal depths under conditionsof high geothermal gradient.

Authors 
Amanda M. Kolker, B.M. Kennedy and R.J. Newberry






Published Journal 
GRC Transactions, 2008



DOI 
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Internet link for Evidence for a Crustal Heat Source for Low-Temperature Geothermal Systems in the Central Alaskan Hot Springs Belt
Citation

Amanda M. Kolker,B.M. Kennedy,R.J. Newberry. 2008. Evidence for a Crustal Heat Source for Low-Temperature Geothermal Systems in the Central Alaskan Hot Springs Belt. GRC Transactions. 32:225-230.


Related Geothermal Exploration Activities
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  1. Chena Geothermal Area
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