Trace Element Analysis

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Exploration Technique: Trace Element Analysis

Exploration Technique Information
Exploration Group: Lab Analysis Techniques
Exploration Sub Group: Fluid Lab Analysis
Parent Exploration Technique: Fluid Lab Analysis
Information Provided by Technique
Hydrological: Reconstructing the fluid circulation of a hydrothermal system
Cost Information
Low-End Estimate (USD): 15.001,500 centUSD
0.015 kUSD
1.5e-5 MUSD
1.5e-8 TUSD
/ element
Median Estimate (USD): 18.001,800 centUSD
0.018 kUSD
1.8e-5 MUSD
1.8e-8 TUSD
/ element
High-End Estimate (USD): 106.0010,600 centUSD
0.106 kUSD
1.06e-4 MUSD
1.06e-7 TUSD
/ element
Trace Element Analysis:
Trace element analysis is a technique that measures very small concentrations of specific elements present in a sample to understand alteration of the host rocks under investigation, with the greater purpose of recontructing fluid circulation of a hydrothermal system.
Other definitions:Wikipedia Reegle

Magmatic systems have a relatively high concentration in various elements that are anomalous to typical surface rocks. As an intrusion cools fluids are released and due to buoyancy effects rise to the surface. Fluid-rock interaction can lead to host rocks being stripped of certain elements (leaching) or incorporating new elements. Depending on where the rock sample came from within the expansive hydrothermal system, it will have a unique composition of trace elements that can be used to reconstruct the orientation of the hydrothermal system.
Use in Geothermal Exploration
Christianson, et al., (1983) characterized Roosevelt Hot Springs using trace element analysis and determined the following: “Chemical interaction between thermal fluids and reservoir rocks at Roosevelt Hot Springs has resulted in distinctive trace-element enrichments and depletions within the rocks. The chemistry of the solid materials documents the time-integrated effects of chemical redistribution within the geothermal system. Within the Roosevelt system, five characteristic deposits or suites of trace-element enrichments are recognized, each representative of different combinations of physical and chemical conditions within the thermal system. These are: (1) concentrations of As, Sb, Be, Mn and Hg associated with siliceous sinter or cemented alluvium; (2) concentrations of Ba, W, Be, Cu, As, Sb and Hg associated with manganese and iron-oxide deposits; (3) high concentrations of Hg in argillized deposits at fumaroles and lower concentrations in a diffuse halo surrounding the thermal center; (4) concentrations of As and Li immediately surrounding fluid-flow-controlling fractures or permeable horizons; and (5) deposits of CaCO3 at depth where flashing of brine to steam has occurred.”

Additional References
From Christianson, et al., 1983 “Fig. 13. Generalized schematic model of a geothermal system indicating relative positions of physical features and geochemical deposition.”


Page Area Activity Start Date Activity End Date Reference Material
Trace Element Analysis (Klein, 2007) Unspecified

Trace Element Analysis At Central Nevada Seismic Zone Region (Coolbaugh, Et Al., 2010) Central Nevada Seismic Zone Geothermal Region

Trace Element Analysis At Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area (Klusman & Landress, 1979) Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area 1979

Trace Element Analysis At Northern Basin & Range Region (Coolbaugh, Et Al., 2010) Northern Basin and Range Geothermal Region

Trace Element Analysis At Nw Basin & Range Region (Coolbaugh, Et Al., 2010) Northwest Basin and Range Geothermal Region

Trace Element Analysis At Roosevelt Hot Springs Area (Christensen, Et Al., 1983) Roosevelt Hot Springs Area

Trace Element Analysis At Socorro Mountain Area (Owens, Et Al., 2005) Socorro Mountain Area

Trace Element Analysis At Walker-Lane Transitional Zone Region (Coolbaugh, Et Al., 2010) Walker-Lane Transition Zone Geothermal Region

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