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Article

Hydrochemical Characteristics of Earthquake-Related Thermal Springs along the Weixi–Qiaohou Fault, Southeast Tibet Plateau

1
Gansu Lanzhou Geophysics National Observation and Research Station, East Mountains West Road 450, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
United Laboratory of High-Pressure Physics and Earthquake Science, Institute of Earthquake Forecasting, CEA, Beijing 100036, China
3
College of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Tianshui Normal University, Tianshui 741001, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Guangcai Wang, Nam C. Woo and Rui Yan
Water 2022, 14(1), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010132
Received: 29 November 2021 / Revised: 29 December 2021 / Accepted: 29 December 2021 / Published: 5 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earthquakes and Groundwater)
The Weixi–Qiaohou Fault (WQF) is considered an important zone of the western boundary of the Sichuan–Yunnan block, and its seismicity has attracted much attention after a series of moderate–strong earthquakes, especially the Yangbi Ms6.4 earthquake that occurred on 21 May 2021. In the present research, we investigate major and trace elements, as well as hydrogen and oxygen isotopes, of 10 hot springs sites located along the WQF, which are recharged by infiltrated precipitation from 1.9 to 3.1 km. The hydrochemical types of most analyzed geothermal waters are HCO3SO4-Na, SO4Cl-NaCa, and SO4-Ca, proving that they are composed of immature water and thus are characterized by weak water–rock reactions. The heat storage temperature range was from 44.1 °C to 101.1 °C; the circulation depth was estimated to range between 1.4 and 4.3 km. The results of annual data analysis showed that Na+, Cl, and SO42− in hot springs decreased by 11.20% to 23.80% north of the Yangbi Ms5.1 earthquake, which occurred on 27 March 2017, but increased by 5.0% to 28.45% to the south; this might be correlated with the difference in seismicity within the fault zone. The results of continuous measurements of NJ (H1) and EYXX (H2) showed irregular variation anomalies 20 days before the Yangbi Ms6.4 earthquake. In addition, Cl concentration is more sensitive to near-field seismicity with respect to Na+ and SO42−. We finally obtained a conceptual model on the origin of groundwater and the hydrogeochemical cycling process in the WQF. The results suggest that anomalies in the water chemistry of hot spring water can be used as a valid indicator of earthquake precursors. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal spring; isotopes; hydrogeochemistry; earthquake thermal spring; isotopes; hydrogeochemistry; earthquake
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhou, H.; Zhou, X.; Su, H.; Li, Y.; Liu, F.; Ouyang, S.; Yan, Y.; Bai, R. Hydrochemical Characteristics of Earthquake-Related Thermal Springs along the Weixi–Qiaohou Fault, Southeast Tibet Plateau. Water 2022, 14, 132. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010132

AMA Style

Zhou H, Zhou X, Su H, Li Y, Liu F, Ouyang S, Yan Y, Bai R. Hydrochemical Characteristics of Earthquake-Related Thermal Springs along the Weixi–Qiaohou Fault, Southeast Tibet Plateau. Water. 2022; 14(1):132. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010132

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhou, Huiling, Xiaocheng Zhou, Hejun Su, Ying Li, Fengli Liu, Shupei Ouyang, Yucong Yan, and Ronglong Bai. 2022. "Hydrochemical Characteristics of Earthquake-Related Thermal Springs along the Weixi–Qiaohou Fault, Southeast Tibet Plateau" Water 14, no. 1: 132. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010132

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