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Active metamorphism of upper Cenozoic sediments in the Salton Sea geothermal field and the Salton Trough, southeastern California

February 8, 1969

The Salton Sea geothermal system is entirely within Pliocene and Quaternary sediments of the Colorado River delta at the north end of the Gulf of California. At the time of deposition, these sediments consisted of sands, silts, and clays of uniform original mineralogic composition, but under the elevated temperatures and pressures of the geothermal system they are being transformed to low-grade metamorphic rocks of the greenschist facies. We have studied these transformations by X-ray, petrographic, and chemical analyses of cuttings and core from deep wells that penetrate the sedimentary section.

Temperatures within the explored geothermal system range up to 360° C at 7100 feet. The wells produce a brine containing over 250,000 ppm dissolved solids, primarily Cl, Na, Ca, K, and Fe, plus a host of minor constituents.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1969
Title Active metamorphism of upper Cenozoic sediments in the Salton Sea geothermal field and the Salton Trough, southeastern California
DOI 10.1130/0016-7606(1969)80[157:AMOUCS]2.0.CO;2
Authors L. J. Patrick Muffler, Donald E. White
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geological Society of America Bulletin
Series Number
Index ID 70224251
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization