Environmental Isotopes In Geothermal Studies

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Journal Article: Environmental Isotopes In Geothermal Studies

The variations in the 18O/16O, D/H, 13C/12C, 34S/32S isotopic ratios and in the tritium concentrations of several components of geothermal fluids have been used widely in the hydrological study of thermal systems. The recharge areas, as well as the mixing phenomena between different fluids and the circulation times, can all be evaluated satisfactorily with the help of these techniques. Of great diagnostic value are the effects of the high temperatures at depth in the geothermal fields on the isotopic exchange reactions between the fluids and the reservoir rocks and on the fractionation factors between the compounds that coexist in the fluid. The latter phenomenon in particular has permitted us to use many isotopic geothermometers that provide useful indications on the temperatures of the main reservoirs. This paper gives a detailed description of their main applications and present limits, together with some indications as to future development of field research with regard to isotopic methods applied to exploration and study of geothermal areas.

C. Panichi and R. Gonfiantini

Published Journal 
Geothermics, 1977



C. Panichi,R. Gonfiantini. 1977. Environmental Isotopes In Geothermal Studies. Geothermics. (!) .