Carbon Dioxide Discharged through the Las Cañadas Aquifer, Tenerife, Canary Islands

Marrero, Rayco; López, Dina; Hernández, Pedro; Pérez, Nemesio
January 2008
Pure & Applied Geophysics;Jan2008, Vol. 165 Issue 1, p147
Academic Journal
Carbon dioxide is one of the first gases to escape the magmatic environment due to its low solubility in basaltic magmas at low pressures. The exsolved CO2 gas migrates towards the surface through rock fractures and high permeability paths. If an aquifer is located between the magmatic environment and the surface, a fraction of the CO2 emitted is dissolved in the aquifer. In this paper, an estimation of the water mass balance and the CO2 budget in Las Cañadas aquifer, Tenerife, Canary Islands, is presented. Magmatic CO2 is transported by groundwater and discharged through man-made sub-horizontal drains or galleries that exist in this island, and by the flow of groundwater discharged laterally towards other aquifers or to the ocean. In addition, the pCO2 at the gallery mouth (or entrance) and at the gallery bottom (internal and deepest discharge point where the gallery starts) are calculated and mapped. The total CO2 advectively transported by groundwater is estimated to range from 143 to 211 t CO2 d−1. Considering that the diffuse soil emission of CO2 for the same area is 437 t d−1, the diffuse/dissolved CO2 flux ratio varies between 2 and 3. The high dissolved inorganic carbon content of groundwater explains the ability of this low temperature hydrothermal water to dissolve and transfer magmatic CO2 at volcanoes, even during quiescence periods.


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