Lectures on geochemical interpretation of hydrothermal waters

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Report: Lectures on geochemical interpretation of hydrothermal waters

The alkali carbonates, Na, K, and Li, are relatively soluble at all temperatures and generally precipitate only where there is extreme evapora- tion. In contrast, the alkaline earth carbonates. Ca. Ht, Sr, and Ba, are moderately to sparingly soluble and commonly precipitate in bydrothecmal systems. Calcite is by far the most abundant and important carbonate found in hydrothermal systems, and more solubility data are available for it than for any of the other carbonates. In natural hydrothe~l solutions many dissolved constituents and 8 variety of chemical reactions involving solids. liquids. and gases influence the dissolution and deposition of calcite. In particular, its solubility is strongly influenced by pH. the partial pressure of carbon dioxide, PC02' temperature, and the presence of other dissolved salts. The situation is particularly complex when boiling occurs. Sophisticated computer programs, such as the WATCH programs (Svararsson, 1981), are the best way to handle these complex reactions. However, all too frequently such programs are employed with little regardor appreciation for the factors that influence the results of the computa- tions. It is the intent of this presentation to highlight the factors that control the solution and deposition of carbonate in geothcrma1 systems, and to show that it is possible to make good estimates of the likely magnitude of calcite transport and deposition in natural waters using hand-held, programmable calculators. These procedures are very useful even though a few simplifying assumptions are required, and only the most important dissolved species are included. The ensuing discussion follows the general procedures presented in Henley et al. (1984).

Robert Fournier

United Nations University

United Nations University - Geothermal Training Programme, 1989

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Internet link for Lectures on geochemical interpretation of hydrothermal waters

Robert Fournier (United Nations University). 1989. Lectures on geochemical interpretation of hydrothermal waters. Reykjavik, Iceland: United Nations University - Geothermal Training Programme. Report No.: 10.