Secondary Controls On Mercury In Soils Of Geothermal Areas

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Journal Article: Secondary Controls On Mercury In Soils Of Geothermal Areas

A study of the Hg distribution in soils of the Long Valley, California, geothermal area and several minor geothermal districts in Colorado was made. A1-horizon soil samples were collected on a grid system in the Colorado areas and on a grid system from selected areas of the Long Valley caldera. The primary objectives of this study were to determine the applicability of anomalously high Hg concentrations in soils to exploration for geothermal systems and to evaluate the importance of secondary controls such as organic matter, Fe and Mn hydrous oxides on Hg concentration in soils overlying geothermal systems. Statistical analysis identified two populations of Hg in soils, one related to geothermal activity and the other unrelated. Stepwise regression was used to evaluate the relative importance of secondary controls on Hg. Organic carbon was found to be the most important influence in the California geothermal data, whereas Mn was most important in the Colorado data. Generally, the secondary controls of Hg are subtle and are overwhelmed in an area of prominent geothermal activity. Some secondary variables have a significant influence on Hg in soils and can be useful in redefining areas of anomalous Hg leakage. The technique is likely to be of most use in evaluating potential geothermal areas with weak surface expression.

Ronald W. Klusman and Robert A. Landress

Published Journal 
Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 1978



Ronald W. Klusman,Robert A. Landress. 1978. Secondary Controls On Mercury In Soils Of Geothermal Areas. Journal of Geochemical Exploration. (!) .