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|Title:||Origin and evolution of ‘intracratonic’ thermal fluids from central-western peninsular India|
|Citation:||Earth and Planetary Science Letters 181(3), 377-394|
|Abstract:||The chemical and isotopic composition of several thermal springs and associated gas phases in a large sector of central-western peninsular India has been investigated. Such springs have meteoric isotopic signature and emerge, after very well developed convective circulation at depth, along important tectonic structures such as the Son–Narmada–Tapti rift zone and the West Coast Fault. Chemical components in both gas and liquid phases and geothermometric estimations suggest that such springs are not related to the presence of any active hydrothermal systems at shallow depth in any of the studied areas. The hottest convective water emerges at Tattapani at near boiling point for water at atmospheric pressure (>90°C) in association with an N2-rich gas phase of clear meteoric signature. Since such fluids do not carry any corrosive components, they could be conveniently exploited for industrial purposes, such as drying processes. From a tectonic point of view, the presence of thermal emergences scattered in a wide area along geologically well defined structures, which also generate frequent moderate earthquakes, suggests that such structures are active. Although the isotopic composition of thermal springs points to a meteoric origin, their feeding aquifers are not topographically driven as in most active Alpine orogenic belts. The relative high quantity of total helium in the associated gas phase suggests also that they are really deep, old, long circulating waters. We propose for such waters the term ‘intracratonic thermal waters’ since the isotopic signature of He in the gas phase does not show any release of primordial 3He in any of the areas of spring emergence. Based on the quite low 3He/4He ratio in the gas phase we suggest also that, in spite of its morphological shape, the Narmada–Son–Tapti rift zone cutting the Indian subcontinent in two is more related to paleo-suture rather than to a mid-continental rift system|
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