Towards understanding the puzzling lack of acid geothermal springs in Tibet (China): Insight from a comparison with Yellowstone (USA) and some active volcanic hydrothermal systems

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Journal Article: Towards understanding the puzzling lack of acid geothermal springs in Tibet (China): Insight from a comparison with Yellowstone (USA) and some active volcanic hydrothermal systems

Abstract

Explanations for the lack of acid geothermal springs in Tibet are inferred from a comprehensive hydrochemical comparison of Tibetan geothermal waters with those discharged from Yellowstone (USA) and two active volcanic areas, Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) and Miravalles (Costa Rica)where acid springs arewidely distributed and diversified in terms of geochemical characteristic and origin. For the hydrothermal areas investigated in this study, there appears to be a relationship between the depths of magma chambers and the occurrence of acid, chloride-rich springs formed via direct magmatic fluid absorption. Nevado del Ruiz and Miravalles with magma at or very close to the surface (less than 1–2 km) exhibit very acidicwaters containing HCl and H2SO4. In contrast, the Tibetan hydrothermal systems, represented by Yangbajain, usually have fairly deep-seatedmagma chambers so that the released acid fluids aremuchmore likely to be fully neutralized during transport to the surface. The absence of steamheated acid waters in Tibet, however, may be primarily due to the lack of a confining layer (like young impermeable lavas at Yellowstone) to separate geothermal steam from underlying neutral chloride waters and the possible

scenario that the deep geothermal fluids below Tibet carry less H2S than those below Yellowstone.

Authors 
Qingjai Guo, D. Kirk Nordstrom and R. Blaine McCleskey








Published Journal 
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 2014





DOI 
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Citation

Qingjai Guo, D. Kirk Nordstrom, R. Blaine McCleskey. 2014. Towards understanding the puzzling lack of acid geothermal springs in Tibet (China): Insight from a comparison with Yellowstone (USA) and some active volcanic hydrothermal systems. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 288:94-104.