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01.08.2010 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2010

Environmental Earth Sciences 3/2010

Hydrogeochemistry of Roccamonfina volcano (Southern Italy)

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Ausgabe 3/2010
Autoren:
Emilio Cuoco, Giuseppe Verrengia, Stefano De Francesco, Dario Tedesco
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s12665-009-0363-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

This is the first hydro-geochemical investigation carried out on the Roccamonfina Volcanic Complex groundwaters. The chemistry of Roccamonfina waters is defined by water–rock and water–rock–gas interactions. In fact, interactions between rocks of the first eruptive high-K formations and circulating groundwaters are recognized by high K concentrations. On the other hand, inverse concentration of calcium versus alkali metals is related to two different rock interactions occurring in different areas of the volcano: (a) within the caldera where groundwaters flow within latite and pyroclastic formations releasing calcium, and (b) similarly at the base of the volcano where groundwaters flowing from surrounding carbonates got strongly enriched in Ca. These geochemical processes are also associated with K (SE of caldera) and Mg/Ca (in sites located at the NE base of the volcano) decrease. Completely different dynamics occurs at Riardo groundwaters (SE). Here waters are the result of a mix between the Roccamonfina deep aquifer and the carbonate aquifer of the Riardo plain. Rich-CO2 emissions make these waters strongly mineralized. Minor elements show a similar geochemical behavior of major ions and are crucial defining interactions processes. The evolution of Roccamonfina groundwaters is also evident along the simultaneous enrichment of Ba, Sr, and Ca. Ba increase is the result of deep local carbonate alteration enhanced by CO2 emissions and, the lower Sr/Ca ratio, from 10 to 2 (ppb/ppm), is also due to the same process. In the light of our results the Roccamonfina aquifer can be schematically divided into two main reservoirs: (a) a superficial aquifer which basically follows the volcanic structure morphology and tectonics and (b) a deeper reservoir, originating within the oldest Roccamonfina volcano ultra potassic lavas and then flowing into the carbonate aquifers of the neighboring plain. Eventually, the chemistry of the Roccamonfina aquifer does not show any specific and visible pollution, contrary to what happens in the volcano surrounding plains. In fact, only 14% of the samples we collected (206) show a NO3 content >30 mg/l. These sites are all located at the base of the volcano, near the plain.

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