Fluid Inclusion Evidence for Rapid Formation of the Vapor-Dominated Zone at Sulphur Springs, Valles Caldera, New Mexico, USA

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Journal Article: Fluid Inclusion Evidence for Rapid Formation of the Vapor-Dominated Zone at Sulphur Springs, Valles Caldera, New Mexico, USA

Abstract
Microthermometric measurements were obtained for 618 fluid inclusions in hydrothermal quartz, fluorite and calcite and magmatic quartz phenocrysts in intracaldera tuffs from the VC-2A core hole in order to study evolutionary processes of the Sulphur Springs hydrothermal system in the Valles caldera. Relatively high Th values in samples from shallow depths indicate erosion of about 200 m of caldera fill since deposition of hydrothermal minerals at shallow depths in the Sulphur Springs hydrothermal system, accompanied by a descent in the water table of the liquid-dominated reservoir. For samples collected below the current water level of the well, the minimum values of homogenization temperature (Th) fit the present thermal profile, whereas minimum Th values of samples from above the water level are several tens of degrees higher than the present thermal profile and fit a paleo-thermal profile following the boiling point curve for pure water, as adjusted to 92 °C at 20 m below the present land surface. This is attributed to development of an evolving vapor zone that formed subsequent to a sudden drop in the water table of the liquid-dominated reservoir. We suggest that these events were caused by the drainage of an intracaldera lake when the southwestern wall of the caldera was breached about 0.5 Ma. This model indicates that vapor zones above major liquid-dominated geothermal reservoirs can be formed due to dramatic changes in geohydrology and not just from simple boiling.

Authors 
Masakatsu Sasada and Fraser E. Goff








Published Journal 
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 1995





DOI 
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Citation

Masakatsu Sasada,Fraser E. Goff. 1995. Fluid Inclusion Evidence for Rapid Formation of the Vapor-Dominated Zone at Sulphur Springs, Valles Caldera, New Mexico, USA. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 67(1-3):161-169.