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Volume 2018, Article ID 8532840, 15 pages
Research Article

Hydrochemical Characteristics and Evolution of Geothermal Fluids in the Chabu High-Temperature Geothermal System, Southern Tibet

1Institute of Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050061, China
2School of Water Resources and Environment, Hebei GEO University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050031, China
3The Geothermal Geological Team of Tibet, Tibet Bureau of Exploration & Development of Geology and Mineral Resources, Lhasa 850032, China

Correspondence should be addressed to G. L. Wang; ten.haey@wgniliug

Received 28 October 2017; Revised 29 January 2018; Accepted 18 February 2018; Published 21 March 2018

Academic Editor: Ming Zhang

Copyright © 2018 X. Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study defines reasonable reservoir temperatures and cooling processes of subsurface geothermal fluids in the Chabu high-temperature geothermal system. This system lies in the south-central part of the Shenzha-Xietongmen hydrothermal active belt and develops an extensive sinter platform with various and intense hydrothermal manifestations. All the geothermal spring samples collected systematically from the sinter platform are divided into three groups by cluster analysis of major elements. Samples of group 1 and group 3 are distributed in the central part and northern periphery of the sinter platform, respectively, while samples of group 2 are scattered in the transitional zone between groups 1 and 3. The hydrochemical characteristics show that the geothermal waters of the research area have generally mixed with shallow cooler waters in reservoirs. The reasonable reservoir temperatures and the mixing processes of the subsurface geothermal fluids could be speculated by combining the hydrochemical characteristics of geothermal springs, calculated results of the chemical geothermometers, and silica-enthalpy mixing models. Contour maps are applied to measured emerging temperatures, mass flow rates, total dissolved solids of spring samples, and reasonable subsurface temperatures. They indicate that the major cooling processes of the subsurface geothermal fluids gradually transform from adiabatic boiling to conduction from the central part to the peripheral belt. The geothermal reservoir temperatures also show an increasing trend. The point with the highest reservoir temperature (256°C) appears in the east-central part of the research area, which might be the main up-flow zone. The cooling processes of the subsurface geothermal fluids in the research area can be shown on an enthalpy-chloride plot. The deep parent fluid for the Chabu geothermal field has a Cl concentration of 290 mg/L and an enthalpy of 1550 J/g (with a water temperature of 369°C).