The volcanic system of Ischia is characterized by an intense hydrothermal activity, documented since the early 16th century by the study of Iasolino [1588], which represents the first systematic analysis of the thermal springs of the island for therapeutic purposes. Later studies partially contributed to the enhancement of knowledge on the volcanic, hydrogeological and hydrothermal features of the island, highlighting the strong interaction between hydrothermal flowpaths and volcanotectonic processes. The reconstruction of the hydrothermal system becomes, therefore, a fundamental element for territorial planning, not only in terms of management of the huge water and geothermal resource, but also and above all in a perspective of prevention and mitigation of volcanic risk. Thermal springs, fumaroles and clay deposits due to the hydrothermal alteration of volcanic products testifies for the existence of an active deep hydrothermal system. However at Ischia the geochemical characterization of fluids and groundwater, performed through sampling and analysis of a discrete number of scattered springs, wells and fumaroles, has been used for the definition of the origin and structure of hydrothermal systems as a whole, as the hydrogeological information is incomplete. Moreover, volcanic hydrothermal systems, such as that characterizes the island of Ischia, are particularly difficult to analyze and outline, as the groundwater resources are the result of an articulated and dynamic interaction among meteoric water, sea water and fluids of deep origin. In such cases, the need for an interdisciplinary approach is evident, involving knowledge and research methods ranging from geology to volcanology, geophysics, geochemistry, mineralogy and hydrogeology. With particular reference to the functional and structural representation of the geothermal system of the island of Ischia and the resulting correlations with the volcanotectonic processes, the examination of previous information highlights the need to update and improve the knowledge on groundwater hydrodynamics and mineralization processes. Therefore, the present work represents a strong interdisciplinary action that, starting from the design and implementation of a database on the existing geological/volcanological and hydrogeological information, contributes to highlight the critical issues, define an operating scheme of the hydrogeothermal system of the island of Ischia, and upgrade its hydrogeological, geochemical and volcanic monitoring system, in order to contribute to the mitigation of volcanic and related risks. The knowledge of groundwater dynamics and pathways, in fact, is of fundamental importance for understanding the water/magma interaction processes in case of realimentation of the shallow magmatic system, and the assessment of the possibility of phreatic explosions occurrence. Moreover, the knowledge of the thermal fluids’ circulation and the related rock alteration processes is of paramount importance in the definition of the mechanic characteristics of rock masses and their proneness to failure.

Groundwater flow characterization and reconstruction of the hydrothermal system of Ischia as a tool for volcanic risk mitigation

Fabbrocino S.;Giardino A.;
2020

Abstract

The volcanic system of Ischia is characterized by an intense hydrothermal activity, documented since the early 16th century by the study of Iasolino [1588], which represents the first systematic analysis of the thermal springs of the island for therapeutic purposes. Later studies partially contributed to the enhancement of knowledge on the volcanic, hydrogeological and hydrothermal features of the island, highlighting the strong interaction between hydrothermal flowpaths and volcanotectonic processes. The reconstruction of the hydrothermal system becomes, therefore, a fundamental element for territorial planning, not only in terms of management of the huge water and geothermal resource, but also and above all in a perspective of prevention and mitigation of volcanic risk. Thermal springs, fumaroles and clay deposits due to the hydrothermal alteration of volcanic products testifies for the existence of an active deep hydrothermal system. However at Ischia the geochemical characterization of fluids and groundwater, performed through sampling and analysis of a discrete number of scattered springs, wells and fumaroles, has been used for the definition of the origin and structure of hydrothermal systems as a whole, as the hydrogeological information is incomplete. Moreover, volcanic hydrothermal systems, such as that characterizes the island of Ischia, are particularly difficult to analyze and outline, as the groundwater resources are the result of an articulated and dynamic interaction among meteoric water, sea water and fluids of deep origin. In such cases, the need for an interdisciplinary approach is evident, involving knowledge and research methods ranging from geology to volcanology, geophysics, geochemistry, mineralogy and hydrogeology. With particular reference to the functional and structural representation of the geothermal system of the island of Ischia and the resulting correlations with the volcanotectonic processes, the examination of previous information highlights the need to update and improve the knowledge on groundwater hydrodynamics and mineralization processes. Therefore, the present work represents a strong interdisciplinary action that, starting from the design and implementation of a database on the existing geological/volcanological and hydrogeological information, contributes to highlight the critical issues, define an operating scheme of the hydrogeothermal system of the island of Ischia, and upgrade its hydrogeological, geochemical and volcanic monitoring system, in order to contribute to the mitigation of volcanic and related risks. The knowledge of groundwater dynamics and pathways, in fact, is of fundamental importance for understanding the water/magma interaction processes in case of realimentation of the shallow magmatic system, and the assessment of the possibility of phreatic explosions occurrence. Moreover, the knowledge of the thermal fluids’ circulation and the related rock alteration processes is of paramount importance in the definition of the mechanic characteristics of rock masses and their proneness to failure.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/890492
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