Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 10:30 AM
TERRESTRIAL SMOKERS: THERMAL SPRINGS DUE TO HYDROTHERMAL CONVECTION OF GROUNDWATER CONNECTED TO SURFACE WATER
Thermal springs are ubiquitous features whose underground kinematic structure is mostly unknown but are typically thought to originate from deep sources. We documented a type of thermal springs at the banks of a volcanic lake that are discharge zones of hydrothermal convection cells circulating groundwater within the near shore environment. The convection captures lake water through the lakebed, mixes it with deeper groundwater at velocities of 100s of m/d, then returns the water to the lake via the spring. The convection cell is flushed in a few hours and turns over the lake’s volume in a few days. Most volcanic lakes and other relatively cool surface water bodies in areas of elevated geothermal heat fluxes meet the conditions for the occurrence of local hydrothermal circulation of groundwater. The type of spring we studied, the terrestrial version of black smokers, is likely present but perhaps unrecognized at many areas.