Oxygen isotope geochemistry of The Geysers reservoir rocks, California

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Whole-rock oxygen isotopic compositions of Late Mesozoic graywacke, the dominant host rock at The Geysers, record evidence of a large liquid-dominated hydrothermal system that extended beyond the limits of the present steam reservoir. The graywackes show vertical and lateral isotopic variations that resulted from gradients in temperature, permeability, and fluid composition during this early liquid-dominated system. All of these effects are interpreted to have resulted from the emplacement of the granitic "felsite" intrusion 1-2 million years ago. The {delta}{sup 18}O values of the graywacke are strongly zoned around a northwest-southeast trending low located near the center of and similar in ... continued below

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237-244

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Gunderson, Richard P. & Moore, Joseph N. January 20, 1994.

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Description

Whole-rock oxygen isotopic compositions of Late Mesozoic graywacke, the dominant host rock at The Geysers, record evidence of a large liquid-dominated hydrothermal system that extended beyond the limits of the present steam reservoir. The graywackes show vertical and lateral isotopic variations that resulted from gradients in temperature, permeability, and fluid composition during this early liquid-dominated system. All of these effects are interpreted to have resulted from the emplacement of the granitic "felsite" intrusion 1-2 million years ago. The {delta}{sup 18}O values of the graywacke are strongly zoned around a northwest-southeast trending low located near the center of and similar in shape to the present steam system. Vertical isotopic gradients show a close relationship to the felsite intrusion. The {delta}{sup 18}O values of the graywacke decrease from approximately 15 per mil near the surface to 4-7 per mil 300 to 600 m above the intrusive contact. The {delta}{sup 18}O values then increase downward to 8-10 per mil at the felsite contact, thereafter remaining nearly constant within the intrusion itself. The large downward decrease in {delta}{sup 18}O values are interpreted to be controlled by variations in temperature during the intrusive event, ranging from 150{degree}C near the surface to about 425{degree}C near the intrusive contact. The upswing in {delta}{sup 18}O values near the intrusive contact appears to have been caused by lower rock permeability and/or heavier fluid isotopic composition there. Lateral variations in the isotopic distributions suggests that the effects of temperature were further modified by variations in rock permeability and/or fluid-isotopic composition. Time-integrated water:rock ratios are thought to have been highest within the central isotopic low where the greatest isotopic depletions are observed. We suggest that this region of the field was an area of high permeability within the main upflow zone of the liquid-dominated hydrothermal system. The lowest water:rock ratios and permeabilities are found in the Northwest Geysers where the least depleted rocks occur.

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237-244

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  • Proceedings, nineteenth workshop on geothermal reservoir engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, January 18-20, 1994

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  • Report No.: SGP-TR-147-34
  • Grant Number: AC07-90ID12929
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 889218
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc876426

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  • January 20, 1994

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 30, 2016, 3:14 p.m.

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Gunderson, Richard P. & Moore, Joseph N. Oxygen isotope geochemistry of The Geysers reservoir rocks, California, article, January 20, 1994; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc876426/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.