Structural settings of hydrothermal outflow: Fracture permeability maintained by fault propagation and interaction

Daniel Curewitz, Jeffrey A. Karson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

275 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hydrothermal outflow occurs most commonly at the terminations of individual faults and where multiple faults interact. These areas of fault propagation and interaction are sites of elevated stress termed breakdown regions. Here, stress concentrations cause active fracturing and continual re-opening of fluid-flow conduits, permitting long-lived hydrothermal flow despite potential clogging of fractures due to mineral precipitation. As fault systems evolve, propagation, interaction, and linkage of fault segments result in the migration and eventual localization of breakdown regions in kinematically favorable sites such as fault bends or fault intersections. Concurrent migration of hydrothermal outflow sites along with these areas of elevated permeability leads to predictable patterns of hydrothermal deposition along fault zones. Thus, the distribution of active outflow sites and preserved deposits along fault zones can potentially provide a tool for studying fault-zone evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-168
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Volume79
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Fault propagation
  • Fault tips
  • Hot springs
  • Hydrothermal activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Structural settings of hydrothermal outflow: Fracture permeability maintained by fault propagation and interaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this