Mineral control of arsenic content in thermal waters from volcano-hosted hydrothermal systems: Insights from island of Ischia and Phlegrean Fields (Campanian Volcanic Province, Italy)

Alessandro Aiuppa, Mariano Valenza, Cinzia Federico, Pecoraino, Rosario Avino, Inguaggiato, Stefano Caliro, Rocco Favara, D'Alessandro, Chiodini, Longo, Brusca

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This paper documents arsenic concentrations in 157 groundwater samples from the island of Ischia and the Phlegrean Fields, two of the most active volcano-hosted hydrothermal systems from the Campanian Volcanic Province (Southern Italy), in an attempt to identify the environmental conditions and mineral-solution reactions governing arsenic aqueous cycling. On Ischia and in the Phlegrean Fields, groundwaters range in composition from NaCl brines, which we interpret as the surface discharge of deep reservoir fluids, to shallow-depth circulating fluids, the latter ranging from acid-sulphate steam-heated to hypothermal, cold, bicarbonate groundwaters. Arsenic concentrations range from 1.6 to 6900 μg·l- 1 and from 2.6 to 3800 μg·l- 1 in the Phlegrean Fields and on Ischia, respectively. They increase with increasing water temperature and chlorine contents, and in the sequence bicarbonate groundwaters < steam-heated groundwaters < NaCl brines. According to thermochemical modeling, we propose that high As concentrations in NaCl brines form after prolonged water-rock interactions at reservoir T, fO2 and fH2S conditions, and under the buffering action of an arsenopyrite + pyrite + pyrrhotite rock assemblage. On their ascent toward the surface, NaCl brines become diluted by As-depleted meteoric-derived bicarbonate groundwaters, giving rise to hybrid water types with intermediate to low As contents. Steam-heated groundwaters give their intermediate to high As concentrations to extensive rock leaching promoted by interaction with As-bearing hydrothermal steam. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)313-330
Numero di pagine18
RivistaChemical Geology
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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