Faculté des sciences

Carbogaseous spring waters, coldwater geysers and dry CO2 exhalations in the tectonic window of the Lower Engadine Valley, Switzerland

Bissig, Pius ; Goldscheider, Nico ; Mayoraz, Joëlle ; Surbeck, Heinz ; Vuataz, François-David

In: Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae, 2006, p. 1-13

In the region of Scuol-Tarasp in the Lower Engadine Valley in the Eastern Swiss Alps, there are a variety of phenomena related to a geogenetic CO2 production, including carbogaseous mineral springs, previously active coldwater geysers and dry gas exhalations from the ground via mofettes. Previous isotopic studies revealed that the CO2 originates from the metamorphic... Plus

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    Summary
    In the region of Scuol-Tarasp in the Lower Engadine Valley in the Eastern Swiss Alps, there are a variety of phenomena related to a geogenetic CO2 production, including carbogaseous mineral springs, previously active coldwater geysers and dry gas exhalations from the ground via mofettes. Previous isotopic studies revealed that the CO2 originates from the metamorphic decomposition of carbonate rocks in the crust. This paper presents an inventory of the springs, geysers and mofettes, and proposes a conceptual model on the regional gas and water circulation. Based on hydrochemical criteria, it was possible to identify six main groups of spring waters, three of which are carbogaseous mineral springs. Most of the carbogaseous springs and gas exhalations are bound to the Bündnerschiefer fractured aquifer. The different water types originate from mixing of groundwater and highly mineralised carbogaseous fluids from depth. Near-surface degassing of CO2 from the fluid phase creates the dry gas exhalations. CO2 and radon measurements in 178 soil boreholes suggest that the gas exhalations occur at a limited number of point-like anomalies, and there is no evidence for regionally important diffuse CO2 discharges from the ground.