Deep hydrothermal circulation in a granite intrusion beneath Larderello geothermal area (Italy): constraints from mineralogy, fluid inclusions and stable isotopes

Boyce, A.J. , Fulignati, P. and Sbrana, A. (2003) Deep hydrothermal circulation in a granite intrusion beneath Larderello geothermal area (Italy): constraints from mineralogy, fluid inclusions and stable isotopes. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 126(3-4), pp. 243-262. (doi:10.1016/S0377-0273(03)00150-1)

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Abstract

A shallow (∼2 km) granite body has been intersected by the MONT-4 well in new producing areas of the Larderello geothermal field. The granite at 2.2–2.5 km and below 3 km underwent pervasive propylitic alteration that is dominated by the assemblage chlorite+adularia+quartz+illite+calcite+albite±epidote±sphene. Fluid inclusion studies indicate two stages of alteration. The first one is characterised by high-temperature fluids that, at 2218 m, were trapped under boiling conditions at about 340°C and 15 MPa, whereas at 3520 m evidence of boiling is not revealed and the temperature of the fluid was calculated to be about 350°C. The second alteration stage shows a cooling of the system, particularly evident in the shallower portion of the intrusion (∼235°C at 2218 m and ∼315°C at 3520 m). The temperature of homogenisation for subsequent cooler inclusions approximates present-day down-hole temperatures, and may be considered as representative of the fluid actually circulating in the granite in recent times. Calculated δ18O values of 0±1‰, for fluids in equilibrium at 340°C (2218 m) and 350°C (3520 m) with feldspar, epidote and chlorite, and δD values of −51 to −61‰, for fluids in equilibrium with chlorite, together with directly measured δD values of −33 to −61‰ for fluid inclusions in quartz, indicate derivation from meteoric waters. The original meteoric signature of the fluids has been altered through water–rock interaction, but remains clearly distinguished from a primary magmatic signature, for which no isotopic evidence was found. Active fracturing and the high structural relief of granite emplacement promoted hydrothermal circulation in the granitic body drilled by MONT-4 well, suggesting that such characteristics may be a pre-requisite for such circulation at Larderello

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boyce, Professor Adrian
Authors: Boyce, A.J., Fulignati, P., and Sbrana, A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Publisher:Elsevier B.V.
ISSN:0377-0273
ISSN (Online):1872-6097
Published Online:20 June 2003

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