Geochemistry of low-temperature springs northwest of Yellowstone caldera: Seeking the link between seismicity, deformation, and fluid flow

William C. Evans, Deborah Bergfeld, Matthijs Van Soest, Mark A. Huebner, John Fitzpatrick, Kinga M. Revesz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A comprehensive geochemical survey of springs outside the northwest margin of the Yellowstone caldera was undertaken in 2003 and 2004. This survey was designed to detect: (1) active leakage from a huge reservoir of CO2 gas recently postulated to extend from beneath the caldera into this area; and (2) lingering evidence for subsurface flow of magmatic fluids into this area during the 1985 seismic swarm and concomitant caldera subsidence. Spring temperatures are low (< 15 °C), but two large-discharge springs contain 14C-dead carbon that can be identified as magmatic from calculated end-member values for δ13C(dead) and 3He/C(dead) of - 4‰ and 1 × 10- 10, respectively, similar to values for intra-caldera fumarolic and hot-spring gases. However, the combined discharge of magmatic C is only 5.4 tonnes/day, < 0.1% of the total output from Yellowstone. The two springs have slightly elevated 3He/4He ratios near 1 RA and anomalous concentrations of Cl, Li, and B, and appear to represent minor leakage of gas-depleted, thermal waters out of the caldera. The small CO2 signal detected in the springs is difficult to reconcile with a large underlying reservoir of gas in faulted and seismically active terrain. When considered with analyses from previous decades, the results provide no evidence to associate the ten-year period of caldera deflation that began in 1985 with expulsion of magmatic fluids through the caldera rim in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-180
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Volume154
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Geochemistry
calderas
geochemistry
caldera
fluid flow
seismicity
Flow of fluids
Gases
Geochemical surveys
Hot springs
Temperature
gases
gas
Subsidence
leakage
Carbon
geochemical survey
expulsion
deflation
fluid

Keywords

  • carbon dioxide
  • geochemistry
  • helium
  • magmatic gas
  • Yellowstone National Park

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Cite this

Geochemistry of low-temperature springs northwest of Yellowstone caldera : Seeking the link between seismicity, deformation, and fluid flow. / Evans, William C.; Bergfeld, Deborah; Van Soest, Matthijs; Huebner, Mark A.; Fitzpatrick, John; Revesz, Kinga M.

In: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Vol. 154, No. 3-4, 15.06.2006, p. 169-180.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Evans, William C. ; Bergfeld, Deborah ; Van Soest, Matthijs ; Huebner, Mark A. ; Fitzpatrick, John ; Revesz, Kinga M. / Geochemistry of low-temperature springs northwest of Yellowstone caldera : Seeking the link between seismicity, deformation, and fluid flow. In: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 2006 ; Vol. 154, No. 3-4. pp. 169-180.
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