The Heat Output of the Waimangu, Waiotapu-Waikite and Reporoa Geothermal Systems (NZ): Do Chloride Fluxes Provide an Accurate Measure?
Geothermal waters from the Waimangu, Waiotapu-Waikite and Reporoa geothermal systems find their way into three separate watersheds. The heat flow data from each of these drainage areas have been assessed making it possible to compare the heat outputs from two independent methods: direct heat measurements and the chloride flux method. For both the Waiotapu/Reporoa Valley drainage and the Waikite drainage a discrepancy exists between the two assessments, with the heat output observed at the
... e (Waiotapu -540k110 M W ; Waikite -80 MW) nearly double of that calculated from the chloride flux (300 MW; 36 MW respectively). It appears that much of the throughput of chloride does not reach the surface within the area which was monitored and the basic assumption on which the method is based has been violated. For Waimangu the direct heat output is assessed as 51Ok60 MW. However the ratio of enthalpy to chloride concentration of the source fluid is not well determined. Depending on the ratio chosen the heat output could lie between 360 and 800 MW. Although the chloride flux is accurately known, the heat output cannot be measured accurately without well determined data on the source fluid at depth.