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A post-eruption study of gases and thermal waters at Okmok Volcano, Alaska

March 13, 2020

We report here on the first focused study of gas discharges and thermal spring waters at Okmok Volcano since the 2008 phreatomagmatic eruptions. Results include the first compositional gas data from Okmok with minimal air contamination and the first data on magmatic carbon in Okmok spring waters. Chemical and isotopic analyses of the waters and gases are used to assess the character of Okmok fluids eight years after the eruptions ceased.

Gases from vents on intracaldera Cone C have high concentrations of H2 and contain H2S rather than SO2, demonstrating the influence of a hydrothermal system, while isotope values of carbon ( 10.2 to 8.9‰) and helium (~8 RA) confirm the presence of magma-derived volatiles. Estimates of equilibrium temperatures for the Cone C gas are ~230 ± 30 ºC. A much cooler reservoir with a maximum temperature of ~55 ºC feeds the intracaldera warm springs. Based on discharge measurements of creeks draining the caldera, the total heat output of the warm springs is estimated to be about 32 MW.

Gas data from a single location of steaming ground at the Geyser Bight geothermal area southwest of the Okmok Caldera are given. The gas is typical of geothermal gases with high concentrations of H2S and an air-corrected helium isotope ratio of 7.15 RA.

Publication Year 2020
Title A post-eruption study of gases and thermal waters at Okmok Volcano, Alaska
DOI 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2020.106853
Authors Deborah Bergfeld, William C. Evans, Andrew Hunt, Taryn Lopez, Janet Schaefer
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Index ID 70209825
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center