Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

An Overview of Fluid Geochemistry and Ore Genesis in the Salton Sea Geothermal System and Comparison with the Gulf of California Hydrothermal Systems

By
Alan E. Williams
Alan E. Williams
Department of Earth Sciences and Geothermal Resources Program of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California Riverside, California, U.S.A.
Search for other works by this author on:
Michael A. McKibben
Michael A. McKibben
Department of Earth Sciences and Geothermal Resources Program of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California Riverside, California, U.S.A.
Search for other works by this author on:
C. Stewart Eldridge
C. Stewart Eldridge
Geology Department and Research School of Earth Sciences The Australian National University Canberra, Australia
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 1991

Abstract

The Salton Sea geothermal system (SSGS) of the Salton Trough is the northernmost of a series of active hydrothermal systems found along the East Pacific Rise-San Andreas fault zone plate boundary transition. The sediment-smothered, saline nature of the SSGS is a consequence of deposition of the Colorado River delta over the fragmented rift system and creation of a saline lake environment in the northern Salton Trough. Intrusion of rift-related magma into the base of this saline sediment pile induces brine diapirism and localizes sulfide and oxide mineral deposition at a stable, density-controlled interface between rising brines and shallower lower-salinity basin fluids. The heated brines interact with the abundant lacustrine sediments, pervasively altering them to greenschist facies assemblages at depths of 2 to 3 km. Reaction with evaporitic sulfates in the host sediments keeps the brines relatively oxidized and provides a source of H2S via hydrothermal SO4-2 reduction. The high salinity, moderately high oxidation state, and near-neutral pH of the fluids keeps the dissolved metal content high and the sulfur content low. Compared with the East Pacific Rise and Guaymas Basin systems, the SSGS reflects the progressive influence of continental sediments and tectonics on an oceanic ridge system as it impinges upon a continental margin.

You do not currently have access to this article.
Don't already have an account? Register

Figures & Tables

Contents

AAPG Memoir

The Gulf and Peninsular Province of the Californias

J. Paul Dauphin
J. Paul Dauphin
Search for other works by this author on:
Bernd R. T. Simoneit
Bernd R. T. Simoneit
Search for other works by this author on:
American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
47
ISBN electronic:
9781629811130
Publication date:
January 01, 1991

GeoRef

References

Related

A comprehensive resource of eBooks for researchers in the Earth Sciences

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal