Geochemical Exploration Of The Chipilapa Geothermal Field, El Salvador

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Journal Article: Geochemical Exploration Of The Chipilapa Geothermal Field, El Salvador

Results of the geochemical exploration of the Ahuachapan-Chipilapa area are presented. The procedure for interpreting the chemical composition of very dilute thermal waters is emphasized. Three groups of thermal waters are described, two with a geothermal brine component and one resulting from steam condensation. The model for one of the groups (Type 2) leads to predictions of temperature and chloride concentration that are reasonably close to those of the geothermal liquid feeding Chipilapa well CH-7B. In particular, it was predicted correctly that the salinities in the Chipilapa area would be considerably lower than those in the Ahuachapan field.It is shown that the simultaneous modeling of the carbon dioxide concentration and isotopic composition of fumarole steam allows discrimination between primary and secondary steam. The composition of all fumarole samples is described as steam originating from a single reservoir fluid at 250°C, and composition Δ18O = -4.1, ΔD = -46, CO2 = 5 _ 10-5 molar fraction.The total discharge composition of CH-7B confirms the trend observed in the Ahuachapan field of decreasing reservoir salinities towards the east. Postulating the existence of a "deep" reservoir brine in the eastern (Chipilapa) section of the system, with lower salinity but otherwise similar temperature and isotopic composition to the Ahuachapan brine, allows for the generation of relatively simple models that explain the formation of the CH-7B brine, and the three groups of thermal waters. Type 1 waters are noteworthy in the sense that they result from a ternary mixture of meteoric water, geothermal brine and high-temperature steam condensate.The possibility that the east-west trend in salinity results from a process of dilution of brine with condensate from steam separated at very high temperatures is discussed. The distribution of the different types of hydrothermal manifestations delineates a lateral discharge system, with the steam upflow zone to the south of the study area, on the northern slope of the volcanic range, and thermal water discharges several kilometers to the north. It is deemed reasonable that exploratory drilling should be directed towards the southern edge of the geothermal system, as far as topography and the indicators of probable secondary permeability permit.

David nieva, Mahendra Pal Verma, Edgar Santoyo, Enrique Portugal and Alejandro Campos

Published Journal 
Geothermics, Date Not Provided



David nieva,Mahendra Pal Verma,Edgar Santoyo,Enrique Portugal,Alejandro Campos. . Geochemical Exploration Of The Chipilapa Geothermal Field, El Salvador. Geothermics. (!) .