STUDIES OF THE ISOTOPE COMPOSITION OF HELIUM IN RELATION TO GEOTHERMAL SYSTEMS
Facilities have been established for the precise isotopic analysis of helium and the extraction of the gas from groundwaters, gaseous mixtures, rocks and minerals. Studies have been carried out in collaboration with a number of other bodies in various countries. Each study was chosen to investigate a different aspect of the behaviour of helium and its application to geothermal problems. In the Community Hot Dry Rock experiment in Southwest England, it has been shown that the abnormally high heat flow is attributable to abnormally high crustal radioactivity. The use of helium concentration, together with radon activity to monitor reservoir growth, has been demonstrated. In the hot spring area of Bath, and in the mesozoic aquifers of eastern England, helium has provided an extremely sensitive tracer for monitoring the mixing of waters from different provenances. In the high enthalpy Italian geothermal areas of Larderello, Travale and Monte Amiata, detailed studies have shown that water rises from the deepest parts of the reservoirs without fully mixing. Iceland was studied both as an oceanic high enthalpy geothermal area and because it provided a comparison of our results with those of Soviet workers. Preliminary studies have been carried out in the Rhine Graben and the Pyrenees area; sites close to the Rhine Graben bounding fault all show a mantle signature although it varies in intensity from north to south. In the Pyrenees, most measurements show no contemporary mantle influence but in a few places weak indications are found.
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 9539 EN (1984) MF, 112 P., BFR 240, EUROFFICE, LUXEMBOURG, POB 1003
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Record Number: 1989123002100 / Last updated on: 1987-01-01
Available languages: en