Hydrology, Geochemistry And Geothermal Aspects Of The Thermal Waters From Switzerland And Adjacent Alpine Regions

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Journal Article: Hydrology, Geochemistry And Geothermal Aspects Of The Thermal Waters From Switzerland And Adjacent Alpine Regions

Abstract
Waters of 19 thermal areas in Switzerland and adjacent alpine regions were studied to acquire a better knowledge of their deep thermal circulation, geochemistry and low-temperature geothermal potential. A systematic multisampling and multitracing program was executed over a complete hydrologic cycle for each of the 19 thermal areas. Pertinent physical, chemical and isotopic parameters were measured and analyzed on thermal and nonthermal waters during nine sampling periods. Thermal water occurrences are generally related either to Triassic evaporites or to the weathered and fractured zone between crystalline basements (or ranges) and their sedimentary cover. Emergence areas are located in faulted or overthrust zones. Sulfate and calcium are the two principal ions responsible for the mineralization of most thermal waters. Actually, gypsum and anhydrite are more often encountered in Triassic evaporites than halite. Many variations of the water geochemistry, caused by seasonal changes, have been recorded during the hydrologic cycle. From mineralization, temperature and discharge variations, it has been possible to distinguish fast or delayed responses to rain or snow-melt events and mixing between deep-thermal and shallow-cold waters. Chemical geothermometers were tested on these warm waters. The chalcedony and Na-K-Ca geothermometers seem to be the only ones which display calculated temperatures in reasonable agreement with known local geothermal gradients or bottom-hole temperatures. The majority of inferred reservoir temperatures ranges from 40° to 60°C. Oxygen-18 and deuterium results show that most thermal waters fit along the meteoric water line, with some exceptions due to Mediterranean precipitation, possible water-rock isotopic exchange or mixing with connate waters. A regional oxygen-18 gradient has been established with altitude in order to locate and determine the elevation of intake areas. Tritium is very useful in the detection of mixing between deep-old and shallow-recent waters. Numerous mixing models using isotopic and chemical parameters have been established to extrapolate the characteristics of the warm end-members. These models are based on parameters such as tritium, oxygen-18 or discharge, whose behaviors are generally in inverse ratio with temperature and/or a main chemical component such as sulfate or chloride. Examples of the use and interpretation of these mixing models are described for the thermal areas of Schinznach, Combioula, Vals, and Bormio.

Author 
Francois-David Vuataz








Published Journal 
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 1983





DOI 
Not Provided
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Citation

Francois-David Vuataz. 1983. Hydrology, Geochemistry And Geothermal Aspects Of The Thermal Waters From Switzerland And Adjacent Alpine Regions. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. (!) .