Low-pH waters discharging from submarine vents at Panarea Island (Aeolian Islands, southern Italy) after the 2002 gas blast: origin of hydrothermal fluids and implications for volcanic surveillance
Franco Tassia, Bruno Capaccioni, Giorgio Caramanna, Daniele Cinti, Giordano Montegrossi, Luca Pizzino, Fedora Quattrocchi, Orlando Vasellia
A geochemical survey of thermal waters collected from submarine vents at Panarea Island (Aeolian Islands, southern Italy) was carried out from December 2002 to March 2007, in order to investigate i) the geochemical processes controlling the chemical composition of the hydrothermal fluids and ii) the possible relations between the chemical features of the hydrothermal reservoir and the activity of the magmatic system. Compositional data of the thermal water samples were integrated in a hydrological conceptual model, which describes the formation of the vent fluid by mixing of seawater, seawater concentrated by boiling, and a deep, highly-saline end-member, whose composition is regulated by water-rock interactions at relatively high temperature and shows clear clues of magmatic-related inputs. The chemical composition of concentrated seawater was assumed to be represented by that of the water sample having the highest Mg content. The composition of the deep end-member was instead calculated by extrapolation assuming a zero-Mg end-member. The Na–K–Ca geothermometer, when applied to the thermal end-member composition, indicated an equilibrium temperature of
approximately 300 °C, a temperature in agreement with the results obtained by gas-geothermometry.