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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

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That terrace is a flat surface bounded by steplike steep slopes [16].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for water rock interaction (Keyword) returned 13 results for the whole karstbase:
RELATION OF MINERALIZATION TO WALL-ROCK ALTERATION AND BRECCIATION, MASCOT JEFFERSON-CITY MISSISSIPPI-VALLEY-TYPE DISTRICT, TENNESSEE, 1994, Haynes F. M. , Keslr S. E. ,
This study was undertaken to assess the relation of Mississippi Valley-type mineralization to wall-rock alteration and brecciation in the Mascot-Jefferson City district, the largest part of the East Tennessee Mississippi Valley-type ore field. The main question of interest was whether the Mississippi Valley-type-forming brines created or greatly enlarged the breccia system that hosts the ore or whether the breccia system was a preexisting paleoaquifer that simply controlled movement of the mineralizing brines. A secondary, and closely related, question was whether brine-wall rock interaction deposited Mississippi Valley-type ore. The breccia system that hosts the East Tennessee ore field began as karst breccias which formed in the upper part of the Late Cambrian-Early Ordovician Knox Group during Middle Ordovician emergence. Brecciation, which was most common at the paleosurface and in a limestone-rich zone about 200 m below the surface, took place when limestone solution caused collapse of primary dolostone layers. Mississippi Valley-type mineralization, consisting of sphalerite and sparry dolomite, fills interstices in the breccias that formed in the limestone-rich part of the Knox Group. Ore is associated with ''recrystalline dolomite'' that replaced limestone and there is an inverse correlation between the original limestone and sphalerite abundance suggesting that the ore-forming fluids reacted strongly with limestone wall rock, possibly dissolving it where alteration was most intense. The assessment of a relation between alteration and Mississippi Valley-type mineralization was based on 3,533 surface drill holes covering the 110-km2 Mascot-Jefferson City district, each of which provided stratigraphic data and quantified estimates of mineralization intensity and alteration intensity. These data show clearly that as much as 50 percent of the limestone in the mineralized breccia section was lost over enormous areas that extend far beyond significant mineralization. The intensity of this effect clearly decreases downdip (toward the east), away from the probable source of meteoric karst-forming waters. These relations, combined with isotopic analyses and reaction path calculations, suggest that breccia formation and limestone dissolution took place during the original karst breccia formation. In contrast, later Mississippi Valley-type mineralization was associated with replacement of limestone by recrystalline dolomite. The main effect of dolomitization on the chemistry of the Mississippi Valley-type brines, an increase in their Ca/Mg ratio, would not cause sulfide precipitation. Thus, it appears unlikely that Mississippi Valley-type-forming brines created much of their ore-hosting breccias or that water-rock interaction was a major cause of Mississippi Valley-type ore deposition

MICROBIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY IN THERMOGLACIAL KARST SPRINGS, SOUTH SPITSBERGEN, 1994, Lauritzen S. E. , Bottrell S. ,
Along the Hornsund fault zone, South Spitsbergen (76-degrees-60'N), thermokarstic springs smell of H2S and display either growth of, or eject fragments of, organic slime. The temperature in individual springs varies between 4 and 15-degrees-C. Their rate of discharge is approximately 1 L s-1 to 18 m3 s-1, corresponding to a minimum temperature of 30-degrees-C within the base of the aquifer. The water, which contains a few ppm SO4(2-), 0.5 ppm S2-, and several thousand ppm NaCl, appears to be a mixture of turbid glacial meltwater and hot brine. Water chemistry and stable isotopes indicate that the salinity is not the result of simple dilution of modern seawater from the brackish zone beneath the coastal karst aquifer, but rather originates from a deep thermal brine component where concentrations and isotopic composition of various species are controlled by water-rock interaction in the source area of the brine. A value of DELTAdeltaS-34 of up to about 30 parts per thousand indicates that sulfide is a bioreduction product of sulfate. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) studies revealed bacteria and fungal hypha in the organic slime, and larger spherical particles (approximately 3.8 mum diameter) that display high concentrations of Fe and S. These findings demonstrate the presence of sulfate-reducing bacteria within the subpermafrost aquifer

HYDROGEOCHEMISTRY OF GRAND-CAYMAN, BRITISH-WEST-INDIES - IMPLICATIONS FOR CARBONATE DIAGENETIC STUDIES, 1995, Ng K. C. , Jones B. ,
Groundwater in the dolostone aquifers of the Bluff Group (Oligocene-Miocene) on Grand Cayman is divided into fresh, lightly and highly brackish, and saline (Type I and II) zones according to chemical characteristics that were determined during a 3 year (1985-1988) monitoring program. Brackish and Type I saline waters display the greatest variation in chemical properties whereas the Type II saline water has the most stable chemical characteristics. Most groundwaters from these dolostone aquifers are thermodynamically capable of precipitating calcite and/or dolomite. The saturation indices for these minerals, however, vary through time and space even in the context of small water lens. Simple mixing of fresh and sea water cannot explain the chemistry of the water found in the joint and karst controlled dolostone aquifers of Grand Cayman. Deviation from a simple mixing model is due to variations caused by tidal fluctuation, the rate of rain water recharge, influx of Ca-rich groundwater from the surrounding limestone aquifers, influx of CO2-rich surface water from sinkholes and swamps, and water-rock interactions (dissolution and precipitation of calcite and dolomite). Sustained groundwater abstraction from a lens can significantly alter the hydrochemistry of the water lens. This suggests that hydrochemical characterization of small fresh water lenses, like those on Grand Cayman, cannot be based on spot or short-term sampling. Interpretation of such fluids in terms of calcite-dolomite precipitation and/or dissolution must be treated with caution if the data base has not been derived from long-term monitoring

Geochemistry of the Springfield Plateau aquifer of the Ozark Plateaus Province in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, USA, 2000, Adamski Jc,
Geochemical data indicate that the Springfield Plateau aquifer, a carbonate aquifer of the Ozark Plateaus Province in central USA, has two distinct hydrochemical zones. Within each hydrochemical zone, water from springs is geochemically and isotopically different than water from wells. Geochemical data indicate that spring water generally interacts less with the surrounding rock and has a shorter residence time, probably as a result of flowing along discrete fractures and solution openings, than water from wells. Water type throughout most of the aquifer was calcium bicarbonate, indicating that carbonate-rock dissolution is the primary geochemical process occurring in the aquifer. Concentrations of calcium, bicarbonate, dissolved oxygen and tritium indicate that most ground water in the aquifer recharged rapidly and is relatively young (less than 40 years). In general, field-measured properties, concentrations of many chemical constituents, and calcite saturation indices were greater in samples from the northern part of the aquifer (hydrochemical zone A) than in samples from the southern part of the aquifer (hydrochemical zone B). Factors affecting differences in the geochemical composition of ground water between the two zones are difficult to identify, but could be related to differences in chert content and possibly primary porosity, solubility of the limestone, and amount and type of cementation between zone A than in zone B. In addition, specific conductance, pH, alkalinity, concentrations of many chemical constituents and calcite saturation indices were greater in samples from wells than in samples from springs in each hydrochemical zone. In contrast, concentrations of dissolved oxygen, nitrite plus nitrate, and chloride generally were greater in samples from springs than in samples from wells. Water from springs generally flows rapidly through large conduits with minimum water-rock interactions. Water from wells flow through small fractures, which restrict how and increase water-rock interactions. As a result, springs tend to be more susceptible to surface contamination than wells. The results of this study have important implications for the geochemical and hydrogeological processes of similar carbonate aquifers in other geographical locations. Copyright (C) 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Water quality impacts and palaeohydrogeology in the Yorkshire Chalk aquifer, UK, 2001, Elliot T, Chadha Ds, Younger Pl,
A large hydrochemical data-set for the East Yorkshire Chalk aquifer has been assessed. Controls on the distribution of water qualities reflect: water-rock interactions (affecting especially the carbonate system and associated geochemistry); effects of land-use change (especially where the aquifer is unconfined); saline intrusion and aquifer refreshening (including ion exchange effects); and overexploitation (in the semi-confined and confined zones of the aquifer). Both Sr and I prove useful indicators of groundwater esidence times, and I/Cl ratios characterize two sources of saline waters. The hydrochemical evidence clearly reveals the importance both of recent management decisions and palaeohydrogeology in determining the evolution and distribution of groundwater salinity within the artesian and confined zones of the aquifer. Waters encountered in the aquifer are identified as complex (and potentially dynamic) mixtures between recent recharge waters, modern seawater, and ancient seawater which entered the aquifer many millennia ago

Formation of Willemite in Hydrothermal Environments, 2003, Brugger J, Mcphail Dc, Wallace M, Waters J,
Willemite (zinc silicate) is the main zinc mineral in some carbonate-hosted ore deposits (e.g., Franklin, New Jersey; Vazante, Brazil; Beltana, South Australia; Kabwe, Zambia). Recent interest in these unconventional zinc deposits has increased because of high zinc grades that exceed 40 wt percent, relatively low environmental impact of ore processing owing to the lack of acid-generating sulfides in the waste, and advances in ore processing technologies. In the past, most metallogenic studies proposed formation of willemite deposits by supergene or hypogene alteration of preexisting sulfide deposits. However, recent data on the Vazante, Beltana, and Kabwe deposits indicate willemite crystallization at temperatures in excess of 150{degrees}C, raising the possibility of primary precipitation from hydrothermal fluids. We use numerical geochemical modeling to examine the formation of willemite under hydrothermal conditions. Activity-activity diagrams reveal that, in the presence of dissolved sulfur and quartz, willemite instead of sphalerite will precipitate under oxidizing (e.g., hematite-stable, sulfate-predominant) and alkaline (pH higher than K feldspar-muscovite-quartz) conditions. Willemite also becomes more stable, relative to sphalerite, at high temperature, and willemite can coexist with magnetite at 300{degrees}C. The stabilities and solubilities of sphalerite, willemite, smithsonite, hydrozincite, and zincite were calculated for wide ranges of temperature (25{degrees}-300{degrees}C), chloride concentration, dissolved sulfur and carbon concentrations, pH, quartz saturation, and oxidation potential. Plots of the solubility of the different minerals as a function of two variables (e.g., temperature and redox state; pH and redox state) allow us to predict the effects of changing chemical conditions, which in turn permits an estimate of the efficiency of particular precipitation processes. Cooling is an effective process for precipitating sphalerite but not willemite, whereas pH increase (e.g., by acidic fluids reacting with carbonates) is effective for precipitating willemite but not sphalerite. Dynamic geochemical models that simulate physicochemical processes are used to understand the formation of the Beltana willemite deposit in the Adelaide geosyncline of South Australia. This small, high grade deposit (850,000 t at 36% Zn) is hosted in dolomite of the Cambrian Ajax Limestone, next to a tectonic contact with the diapiric, halite-bearing clastic sediments of the Callanna Group. The orebody is associated with hematite alteration and is characterized by the total absence of sulfides; willemite is the only zinc ore mineral, and the arsenate hedyphane (Ca2Pb3[AsO4]3Cl) is the main lead mineral. The model results show that willemite will precipitate in response to water-rock interaction and fluid mixing processes at temperatures above 120{degrees}C. The presence of arsenate in the hydrothermal fluid is likely to have been important at Beltana; in arsenate-absent models sulfate is reduced to sulfide by the precipitation of ferrous iron as hematite, resulting in the precipitation of sphalerite and galena. In contrast, in models including arsenate the reduction of sulfate to sulfide is inhibited and willemite is predicted to precipitate

Carbonate-Hosted Zn-Pb Deposits in Upper Silesia, Poland: Origin and Evolution of Mineralizing Fluids and Constraints on Genetic Models, 2003, Heijlen Wouter, Muchez Philippe, Banks David A. , Schneider Jens, Kucha Henryk, Keppens Eddy,
Microthermometric and crush-leach analyses of fluid inclusions in ore and gangue minerals of the Upper Silesian Zn-Pb deposits, Poland, along with first results of Rb-Sr geochronology on sulfides, provide important constraints on the paleohydrogeologic and metallogenetic models for the origin of these ores. The analyzed samples comprise two generations of dolomite, two generations of sphalerite, galena, and late calcite. The two dolomite generations and the late calcite were also analyzed for their oxygen and carbon isotope compositions, allowing a characterization of the mineralizing fluids. The ore-forming fluids represent highly saline (20-23 wt % CaCl2 equiv) Na-Ca-Cl brines, episodically introduced into the Triassic host carbonates. They had an oxygen isotope composition of ~0 per mil V-SMOW. Their Na-Cl-Br content (molar Na/Br and Cl/Br ratios between 99 and 337 and between 248 and 560, respectively) suggests that they originated by evaporation of seawater, which most likely occurred in the Permian-Triassic. The relative concentrations of potassium (molar K/Cl between 0.0147 and 0.0746) and lithium (molar Li/Cl between 0.0004 and 0.0031) further indicate that the fluids significantly interacted with siliciclastic rocks. The ionic and calculated oxygen isotope compositions of the fluids indicate that they were more evolved than present-day brines in the Upper Silesian coal basin, and the present-day brines show more extensive mixing with low-salinity fluids. The first results of direct Rb-Sr dating of ore-stage sulfides yield an isochron model age of 135 {} 4 Ma for the mineralizing event. This is consistent with hydrothermal activity and ore formation in Upper Silesia occurring in response to Early Cretaceous crustal extension preceding the opening of the northern Atlantic Ocean. The data presented support a model in which bittern brines migrated down into the deep subsurface and evolved into mineralizing fluids owing to extensive water-rock interaction. They were episodically expelled along deeply penetrating faults during the Early Cretaceous to form Zn-Pb deposits in the overlying Mesozoic carbonate rocks

Carbon 13 of TDIC to quantify the role of the unsaturated zone: the example of the Vaucluse karst systems (Southeastern France), 2003, Emblanch C, Zuppi Gm, Mudry J, Blavoux B, Batiot C,
The total dissolved inorganic carbon (TDIC) and C-13(TDIC) have been used as chemical and isotopic tracers to evaluate the contribution of different water components discharging at the Fontaine de Vaucluse karst spring near Avignon. At the same time they have been used to separate its flood hydrograph. Waters flowing from unsaturated zone (UZ) and saturated zone (SZ) show similar concentration in TDIC. In UZ and SZ water rock interactions do not obey to the same kinetic. The mixing rate between water coming from the UZ characterised by a short residence time and water from the SZ with a longer residence time has been evaluated in the spring discharge. In a hydrodynamic system, which is rather complex as it is open to the soil CO2 in UZ and closed to the same CO2 in the SZ, C-13(TDIC) has excellent characteristics as an environmental tracer. In order to better describe the inwardness of mass movements within the aquifer, the apparent contrasting information obtained using two different isotopes (O-18 of water molecules and C-13 of TDIC) must be combined. O-18 informs whether the hydrodynamic system acts as piston flow (PF) or follows a well mixing model (WMM). Conversely, C-13 gives more complete information on the UZ contributes to the total discharge. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Geochemistry of red residua underlying dolomites in karst terrains of Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau II. The mobility of rare earth elements during weathering, 2004, Ji H. B. , Wang S. J. , Ouyang Z. Y. , Zhang S. , Sun C. X. , Liu X. M. , Zhou D. Q. ,
The aim of this study is to characterize the evolution of the rare earth elements (REE) in the Pingba red residua on karst terrain of Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. The in-situ weathering and the two-stage development of the profile had been inferred from REE criterions. The REE were significantly fractionated, and Ce was less mobilized and separated from the other REEs at the highly enriched top of the profile. This is consistent with the increase of oxidation degree in the regolith. And it is also suggested that the wet/dry climate change during chemical weathering caused Ce alternative change between enrichment and invariance in the upper regolith. Chondrite-normalized REE distribution patterns for samples from dolomites and the lower regolith are characteristic of MREE enrichment and remarkable negative Ce-anomalies patterns (similar to the convex-up REE patterns). The following processes are interpreted for the patterns in this study: (1) the accumulation of MRRE-rich minerals in dolomite dissolution, (2) water-rock interaction in the weathering front, and (3) more leaching MREE from the upper part of the profile. The latter two explanations are considered as the dominant process for the formation of the REE patterns. Samples from the soil horizon exhibit typical REE distribution patterns of the upper crust, i.e., La-N/Yb-N = 10 and Eu/Eu* = 0.65. All data indicate that the leaching process is very important for pedogenesis in this region. The experiments demonstrating that abnormal enrichment of REE at the upper regolith-bedrock interface is caused by a combination of volume change, accumulation of REE-bearing minerals, leaching of REE from the upper regolith, and water-rock interaction during rock-soil alteration processes. Our results support the conclusion that the weathering profile represents a large, continental elemental storage reservoir, whereas REE enrichment occurs under favorable conditions in terms of stable tectonics, low erosion and rapid weathering over sufficiently long time. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Hydrochemical variations during flood pulses in the south-west China peak cluster karst: impacts of CaCO3-H2O-CO2 interactions, 2004, Liu Z. H. , Groves C. , Yuan D. X. , Meiman J. , Jiang G. H. , He S. Y. , Li Q. A. ,
High-resolution measurements of rainfall, water level, pH, conductivity, temperature and carbonate chemistry parameters of groundwater at two adjacent locations within the peak cluster karst of the Guilin Karst Experimental Site in Guangxi Province, China, were made with different types of multiparameter sonde. The data were stored using data loggers recording with 2 min or 15 min resolution. Waters from a large, perennial spring represent the exit for the aquifer's conduit flow, and a nearby well measures water in the conduit-adjacent, fractured media. During flood pulses, the pH of the conduit flow water rises as the conductivity falls. In contrast, and at the same time, the pH of groundwater in the fractures drops, as conductivity rises. As Ca2 and HCO3- were the dominant (>90%) ions, we developed linear relationships (both r(2) > 0.91) between conductivity and those ions, respectively, and in turn calculated variations in the calcite saturation index (SIc) and CO2 partial pressure (PCO2) of water during flood pulses. Results indicate that the PCO2 of fracture water during flood periods is higher than that at lower flows, and its SIc is lower. Simultaneously, PCO2 of conduit water during the flood period is lower than that at lower flows, and its SIc also is lower. From these results we conclude that at least two key processes are controlling hydrochemical variations during flood periods: (i) dilution by precipitation and (ii) water-rock-gas interactions. To explain hydrochemical variations in the fracture water, the water-rock-gas interactions may be more important. For example, during flood periods, soil gas with high CO2 concentrations dissolves in water and enters the fracture system, the water, which in turn has become more highly undersaturated, dissolves more limestone, and the conductivity increases. Dilution of rainfall is more important in controlling hydrochemical variations of conduit water, because rainfall with higher pH (in this area apparently owing to interaction with limestone dust in the lower atmosphere) and low conductivity travels through the conduit system rapidly. These results illustrate that to understand the hydrochemical variations in karst systems, considering only water-rock interactions is not sufficient, and the variable effects of CO2 on the system should be evaluated. Consideration of water-rock-gas interactions is thus a must in understanding variations in karst hydrochemistry. Copyright (C) 2004 John Wiley Sons, Ltd

Significance and dynamics of drip water responding to rainfall in four caves of Guizhou, China, 2005, Zhou Y. C. , Wang S. J. , Xie X. N. , Luo W. J. , Li T. Y. ,
In rainy season, NaCl is adopted to trace sources of cave drip water, time scales of drip water responding to precipitation, and processes of water dynamics in four caves of Pearl watershed in Guizhou, China (Liang-feng cave in Libo, Qixing cave in Duyun, Jiangjun cave in Anshun and Xiniu cave in Zhenning). Because of the variety of karst cave surroundings, interconnections of water transporting ways, water dynamics processes etc., time scales of drip-water in four caves responding to rainfall is 0-40 d. According to the characteristics of water transport in cave roof, pathways of water movement, types of water head etc., drip water of four caves can be divided into five hydrodynamics types. The differences of time scales, and ways of water-soil and water-rock interaction during water transporting in cave roof make it difficult to correctly measure speleothem record and trace material sources. In addition, there exist great differences in water dynamic conditions among the four caves. So the interpretation of the paleoenvironment records of speleothem must be supported by the understanding of hydrodynamics conditions of different drip sites. Based on the data got from drip sites in four caves, drip conductivity accords with precipitation, which indicates that element contents in speleothem formed by drip water record the change of karst paleoenvironment. But results of multi-points study are needed to guarantee the correctness of interpretation

Hydrochemistry and solution rates in gypsum karst: case study from the Western Ukraine, 2005, Klimchouk A. B. , Aksem S. D. ,
The gypsum karst in the Western Ukraine spreads through a large territory covering more than 20,000 km(2) and is represented by a range of stages (evolutionary types), from deep-seated through subjacent to entrenched. Correspondingly, hydrogeological settings of karst development, circulation patterns and chemical characteristics of groundwaters differ substantially between the respective areas. Based on 1,800 analyses, this paper summarises hydrochemistry of the gypsum-hosting Miocene aquifer. The majority of sampling has been performed in conjunction with a study regime of gypsum solution rates by means of standard tablets. In this study, which included 53 tablet stations representing varying conditions of water-rock interaction, 644 weight-loss measurements were made over the period 1984-1992. The highest rates are characteristic of entrenched karst although active dissolution is localised along well-defined sinking streams with short underground courses, rare vertical percolation paths and the water table. Lower but still quite substantial rates are characteristic of subjacent and deep-seated (confined) karst. However, the overall dissolution removal is greater due to higher flow through the gypsum and the larger area of rock-solvent contact. The results are generalised in order to derive the approximate solution rates characterising major situations and to be suitable for modeling purposes

The geochemistry of fluids from an active shallow submarine hydrothermal system: Milos island, Hellenic Volcanic Arc, 2005, Valsamijones E. , Baltatzis E. , Bailey E. H. , Boyce A. J. , Alexander J. L. , Magganas A. , Anderson L. , Waldron S. , Ragnarsdottir K. V. ,
Geothermal activity in the Aegean island of Milos (Greece), associated with island-arc volcanism, is abundant both on-and off-shore. Hydrothermal fluids venting from several sites, mainly shallow submarine (up to 10 m), but also just above seawater level in one locality, were sampled over four summer field seasons. Some of the discharging fluids are associated with the formation of hydrothermal edifices. Overall, the main characteristics of the hydrothermal fluids are low pH and variable chlorinity. The lowest recorded pH was 1.7, and chlorinity ranged from 0.1 to 2.5 times that of seawater. The highest fluid temperatures recorded on site were 115 degrees C. Two main types of fluids were identified: low-chlorinity fluids containing low concentrations of alkalis (potassium, lithium, sodium) and calcium, and high concentrations of silica and sulphate; and high-chlorinity fluids containing high concentrations of alkalis and calcium, and lower concentrations of silica and sulphate. The type locality of the high-chlorinity fluids is shallow submarine in Palaeochori, near the cast end of the south coast of the island, whereas the type locality of the low-chlorinity fluids is a cave to the west of Palaeochori. The two fluid types are therefore often referred to as 'submarine' and 'cave' fluids respectively. Both fluid types had low magnesium and high metal concentrations but were otherwise consistently different from each other. The low-chlorinity fluids had the highest cobalt, nickel, aluminium, iron and chromium (up to 1.6 mu M, 3.6 mu M, 1586 mu M, 936 mu M and 3.0 mu M, respectively) and the high-chlorinity fluids had the highest zinc, cadmium, manganese and lead (up to 4.1 mu M, 1.0 mu M, 230 mu M and 32 mu M, respectively). Geochemical modelling suggests that metals in the former are likely to have been transported as sulphate species or free ions and in the latter as chloride species or free ions. Isotopic values for both water types range between delta D -12 to 33 parts per thousand and delta(18)O 1.2 to 4.6 parts per thousand. The range of fluid compositions and isotopic contents indicates a complex history of evolution for the system. Both types of fluids appear to be derived from seawater and thus are likely to represent end members of a single fluid phase that underwent phase separation at depth. Crown Copyright (c) 2005 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

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