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Geochemistry and fluxes of gases from hydrothermal features at Newberry Volcano, Oregon, USA

December 5, 2022

We present the chemical and isotopic compositions of gases and fluxes of CO2 from the hydrothermal features of Newberry Volcano, a large composite volcano located in Oregon's Cascade Range with a summit caldera that hosts two lakes, Paulina and East Lakes. Gas samples were collected from 1982 to 2021 from Paulina Hot Springs (PHS) on the shore of Paulina Lake, East Lake Hot Springs (ELHS) on the shore of East Lake, and Obsidian Flow Gas Seep (OFGS), an area of diffuse gas emissions. Surveys of CO2 flux were conducted in 2020 at OFGS (1400 m2) and East Lake (4.1 km2). Gases from all three sites were CO2-rich (≥79 mol% in dry gas) but showed considerable compositional variability over time due to interaction with ground and surface water. An increase in H2S concentrations and decline in CO2/H2S ratios in ELHS gases coincided with a drop in East Lake water level from 1999 to 2021. ELHS and OFGS gases were high in CH4 relative to PHS and the δ13C of CH4 values for ELHS gases (−72.2 and − 63.6 ‰) reflected a predominantly biogenic origin. The dominant source of N2 and Ar in PHS, ELHS, and OFGS samples was likely groundwater. Helium isotopic ratios (6.47 to 8.02 Rc/Ra) support a persistent source of magmatic He beneath Newberry caldera and consistently high values measured at OFGS and PHS relative to ELHS suggest distinct fluid flow paths from depth to the surface features. The δ13C of CO2 and CO2/3He values (−8.9 to −5.35 ‰ and 1.3 × 109 to 4.6 × 1010, respectively) measured in gases reflect contributions of CO2 from both mantle and crustal sources. Measured CO2 fluxes at OFGS and East Lake ranged from 1 to 8808 and < 1 to 364 g m−2 d−1, respectively. A CO2 emission rate of 0.5 t d−1 was calculated for OFGS. The CO2 emission rate estimated for East Lake was 30 t d−1 and when compared to prior estimates, reflects steady-state lake degassing. An enhanced geochemical monitoring plan, including annual sampling of gases at ELHS, OFGS, and PHS for geochemical analysis, installation of a continuous lake-level monitoring station at East Lake, and annual CO2 flux surveys at OFGS, would provide valuable background data and insights into any precursor volcanic activity. Integrating geochemical data with data from the real-time seismic and GPS network at Newberry Volcano could better resolve and interpret potential changes in its magma-hydrothermal system.

Publication Year 2023
Title Geochemistry and fluxes of gases from hydrothermal features at Newberry Volcano, Oregon, USA
DOI 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2022.107729
Authors Jennifer L. Lewicki, William C. Evans, Steven E. Ingebritsen, Laura E. Clor, Peter J. Kelly, Sara Peek, Robert A. Jensen, Andrew Hunt
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Index ID 70239254
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center; Geology and Geophysics Science Center; National Research Program - Western Branch; Volcano Science Center