This study determines the properties of hot spring waters and associated rocks, calculates reservoir temperatures and depths in the Mongolian Altai region, and constructs a conceptual model for geothermal water based on these results. The hot springs consist of HCO3-Na, SO4-Na, and HCO3-SO4-Na mixed type waters. The waters exhibit alkaline pH levels and temperatures in the range of 21.3–35°C. X-ray diffraction analyses of outcrop rocks reveal silicate and carbonate-type minerals such as quartz, albite, orthoclase, dolomite, mica, and actinolite, while correlation analysis indicates that the chemical composition of the hot spring water is directly related to rock mineral composition. Dissolution of albite, orthoclase, and dolomite minerals has played an important role in the chemical composition of the waters. Reservoir water circulation depths were 2615–3410 m according to quartz and chalcedony geothermometry. The results indicate that the spring water in the Mongolian Altai region comprises a low mineral content with alkaline pH levels and the reservoir temperature can reach up to 106°C. We also propose a conceptual model for geothermal water in the Chikhertei hot spring. The geothermal water in the Mongolian Altai region exhibits a potential for use in heating systems.

Thematic collection: This article is part of the Hydrochemistry related to exploration and environmental issues collection available at: https://www.lyellcollection.org/cc/hydrochemistry-related-to-exploration-and-environmental-issues

Scientific editing by Scott Alan Wood

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