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Fluid-Rock Interactions

Characterisation of the natural geological variations in New Zealand geothermal systems by constraining deep processes, reservoir conditions, and surface manifestations to assess the viability, the chemistry, and lifetime of the hydrothermal events.

Project Leader: Isabelle Chambefort

Task 1: Deep Processes: “Understanding the role, nature and evolution of deep fluids” (Task Leader: Bruce Mountain)

  • Nature of water-rock interaction in geothermal aquifers under supercritical conditions determined (Collaboration with VUW)
  • Constraints on water-rock interaction under supercritical conditions in geothermal aquifers: experimental study on the role of andesite and greywacke in chemistry of a system
  • Linking TVZ magmatism to fluid chemistry, pathway, and alteration in the geothermal systems (Collaboration with VIC, OSU, Univ Canterbury)
  • Source and volatile cycle in active geothermal systems (Collaboration with OSU, ANU)
  • Basement and the deep structures the main factors controlling the locations and chemistry of the different New Zealand Geothermal Fields

Task 2: Reservoir Conditions: “Constraining the natural state of the system.” (Task Leader: Isabelle Chambefort)

  • How volcanic textures and structures influence hydrothermal alteration and permeability
  • Thermoconductivity of altered rock and its application to geothermal reservoirs (Collaboration with Darmstadt Technical University)
  • Mineral trace elements and chemical vectors in TVZ systems described (Collaboration with U. Waikato, U. Auckland, Oregon State U.)
  • Experimental investigations carried out of NDS and NSA tracers in geothermal fluids at high temperature (Collaboration with VUW)
  • Case study: hydrothermal evolution of the Rotokawa Geothermal Field (Collaboration with VIC)
  • Mineral and chemical surface zoning (Surface alteration and hydrothermal eruption)

Task 3: Lifetime: “Constraining the longevity active and fossil hydrothermal systems by dating: Death or Wane” (Task Leader: Andrew Rae)

  • Sinter evolution, why some geothermal systems died, and others rejuvenated?
  • Ngakuru Graben, fossil, active system, fluid circulation and tectonic model
  • Volcanic stratigraphy to understand the longevity and multiple heat source events.
  • Integrated study from surface to depth on what determines the life of a geothermal system?