Guagua Pichincha Volcano, Ecuador- Fluid Geochemistry In Volcanic Surveillance

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Journal Article: Guagua Pichincha Volcano, Ecuador- Fluid Geochemistry In Volcanic Surveillance

Abstract
The densely populated metropolitan area of Quito is located on the slopes of the active Guagua Pichincha volcano at only 10 km from the crater. Recently, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sponsored a project for the mitigation of volcanic hazard in this area. The geochemical study carried out as part of this project was aimed at constructing a geochemical model of the zone for use in volcanic surveillance. According to this geochemical model, a hydrothermal aquifer (T = 200-240°C), fed both by meteoric waters and by fluids released by a magma body, lies at shallow levels beneath Guagua Pichincha crater. The crater fumaroles are essentially fed by steam boiled off from the hydrothermal aquifer. The high flow rate fumaroles located in the dome area show significant SO2 contents, which suggest a relatively high contribution of magmatic fluids in the zone of the aquifer feeding them. The absence of SO2 in the fumarolic discharges near the southern crater wall indicates instead that the magmatic fluids dissolve entirely into the aquifer here. The hot springs located at the western end of the crater represent the lateral discharge of the hydrothermal aquifer. On the basis of this model, it is likely that an increment in the flux of both the magmatic fluids and the heat from a magma body produces an increase, albeit small, of the pressure-temperature conditions of the hydrothermal system and consequent changes in flow rate and fluid chemistry of the fumarolic vents. In particular, total sulphur and possibly hydrochloric acid may increase in all the vents and sulphur dioxide may appear in other fumarolic discharges. The varying thermodynamic conditions in the hydrothermal aquifer can be evaluated on the basis of the equilibria among carbon species and hydrogen. Only minor delayed changes are expected in the physical-chemical characteristics of the springs located at the western end of the crater.

Authors 
L. Marini, A. Agostini, R. Cioni, M. Guidi and O. Leon








Published Journal 
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 1991





DOI 
Not Provided
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Citation

L. Marini,A. Agostini,R. Cioni,M. Guidi,O. Leon. 1991. Guagua Pichincha Volcano, Ecuador- Fluid Geochemistry In Volcanic Surveillance. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. (!) .