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Geochemistry of thermal waters in Long Valley, Mono County, California

February 10, 1976

Thermal springs and wells in Long Valley, California, issue sodium bicarbonate‐chloride waters containing 1000–1420 mg/l of dissolved solids. Thermal waters of sodium bicarbonate‐chloride composition are usually associated with hot‐water reservoirs. Chloride concentrations and stable isotope data indicate that the thermal waters have had varied histories. All of the thermal springs issue a mixture of fluid from the thermal reservoir and less saline, cooler water from one or more shallow aquifers. The composition of springs in Hot Creek Gorge may have been further altered by minor subsurface boiling. Thermal springs between Hot Creek and Lake Crowley issue mixtures of fresh and thermal waters which have lost heat by conductive cooling and changed composition by reaction with rock in the shallow aquifer. The silica content of water from Magma Richie 5 and mixing calculations based on the concentrations of silica in thermal waters collected from springs in Hot Creek Gorge and along Little Hot Creek indicate a temperature of at least 200°C in the thermal reservoir. The sodium‐potassium‐calcium geothermometer yields a reservoir temperature estimate near 200°C for most of the thermal springs. If geothermal energy is developed in Long Valley, the high concentrations of arsenic (up to 2.2 mg/l), boron (up to 15 mg/l), and total dissolved solids in the thermal fluids will make it necessary to isolate the effluent of production wells from the freshwater system.

Publication Year 1976
Title Geochemistry of thermal waters in Long Valley, Mono County, California
DOI 10.1029/JB081i005p00792
Authors Robert H. Mariner, Lawrence M. Willey
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Geophysical Research
Index ID 70200400
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization California Water Science Center