Reactive Geothermal Transport Simulations To Study The Formation Mechanism Of An Impermeable Barrier Between Acidic And Neutral Fluid Zones In The Onikobe Geothermal Field, Japan

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Journal Article: Reactive Geothermal Transport Simulations To Study The Formation Mechanism Of An Impermeable Barrier Between Acidic And Neutral Fluid Zones In The Onikobe Geothermal Field, Japan

Abstract
Two types of fluids are encountered in the Onikobe geothermal reservoir (Japan): one is neutral and the other is acidic. It is hypothesized that acidic fluid might be upwelling along a fault zone from magma and that an impermeable barrier might be present between the acidic and neutral fluid zones. To test such a conceptual model and to study the geochemical behavior due to mixing of the two fluids, reactive geothermal transport simulations under both natural and production conditions were carried out using the code TOUGHREACT. Results indicate Mn-rich smectite precipitates near the mixing front. Precipitation of sphalerite and galena occurs in a similar region as the Mn-rich smectite. Precipitation of these minerals depends on pH and temperature. In addition, quartz, pyrite, and calcite precipitate in the shallow zone resulting in further development of caprock. The changes in porosity and permeability due to precipitation of Mn-rich smectite are small compared with that of quartz, calcite, and pyrite. However, the smectite precipitation is likely to fill open fractures and to form an impermeable barrier between acidic and neutral fluid regions. The simulated mineral assemblage is generally consistent with observations in the Onikobe field. The numerical simulations described here provide useful insight into geochemical behavior and formation of impermeable barriers from fluid mixing. The method presented in this paper may be useful in fundamental analysis of hydrothermal systems and in the exploration of geothermal reservoirs, including chemical evolution, mineral alteration, mineral scaling, and changes in porosity and permeability.

Authors 
N. Todaka, C. Akasaka, T. F. Xu and K. Pruess








Published Journal 
Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth, 2004





DOI 
Not Provided
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Citation

N. Todaka,C. Akasaka,T. F. Xu,K. Pruess. 2004. Reactive Geothermal Transport Simulations To Study The Formation Mechanism Of An Impermeable Barrier Between Acidic And Neutral Fluid Zones In The Onikobe Geothermal Field, Japan. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. (!) .