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Volcán Tabor, Ibagué, Tolima

 Volume 4 Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Paipa Geothermal System, Boyacá: Review of Exploration Studies and Conceptual Model

By Claudia María ALFARO–VALERO, Jesús Bernardo RUEDA–GUTIÉRREZ, Jhon Camilo MATIZ–LEÓN, Miguel Angel BELTRÁN–LUQUE, Gilbert Fabián RODRÍGUEZ–RODRÍGUEZ, Gina Z. RODRÍGUEZ–OSPINA, Carlos Eduardo GONZÁLEZ–IDÁRRAGA and Jaison Elías MALO–LÁZARO

Pages 79–98

Manuscript accepted February 19, 2019 


Abstract 


The Paipa geothermal system is located at 2525 m.a.s.l. in a terrain tilted from south to north towards the Chicamocha River, where the geology is dominated by sedimentary rocks intruded by felsic magmas. The mid–Pleistocene volcanic activity produced pyroclastic deposits and dome complexes. A deep saline sodium sulfate water, presumably originating from the infiltration of meteoric water followed by dissolution of an evaporite, mixes with geothermal fluid. This process masks the chemical and isotopic composition of the geothermal component of fluid discharge in hot springs, the temperatures of which reach 76 °C. Organic and magmatic/mantle contributions also affect the composition of the gas phase discharges. High concentrations of radioactive elements are found in the area, mainly in El Durazno, a highly altered intrusion located to the west. Extensive outcrops of the Une Formation at high elevation (2900 m.a.s.l.) in the Tibasosa–Toledo Anticline represent the main recharge zone. High angle faults (Las Peñas, Paipa–Iza, and Agua Tibia) and the contacts between the magmatic intrusions and the surrounding metamorphic and sedimentary rocks control the permeability of the fractured reservoir. Northward, rising hot water encounters elevated permeability in sedimentary rocks, mainly in the Une Formation, forming a sedimentary reservoir. The subsequent fluid outflow is facilitated by a normal subvertical NW fault (Cerro Plateado). Two main discharge zones, Instituto de Turismo de Paipa–Lanceros and La Playa, are controlled by intersections between faults and permeable rocks.

Keywords: geothermal exploration, hot springs, geothermal conceptual model, Paipa geothermal system.