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Geology and Geothermal Setting of Tompaso Geothermal System, Indonesia, with Comparisons of Andesite Alteration Patterns with Wairakei, New Zealand

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posted on 2021-11-15, 17:22 authored by Savitri, Kartika Palupi

Tompaso geothermal system is a typical volcanic arc geothermal system in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Although situated close to the Tondano caldera, subsurface lithologies and structures do not show any evidence for caldera-related features and the system is inferred to be related to the andesitic Soputan volcano. The subsurface geology of Tompaso consists of Tuff B unit, Rhyolite unit, Andesite B unit, Pitchstone unit, Pyroclastic Breccia unit,Andesite A unit, Pumice unit, and Tuff A unit, respectively, from the oldest penetrated unit. The silicic Pitchstone and Rhyolite units are presumed to be sourced from the same magma chamber. Petrological and mineralogical observations using binocular and petrographic microscopy, short-wave infrared (SWIR) analysis, and back-scattered electron (BSE) imaging combined with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) have been applied to cuttings and limited core material from three boreholes: LHD-26, LHD-27, and LHD-32. Age dating has not been undertaken and, thus, conclusions on correlations between subsurface geology inferred here with surface formation groupings from previous works cannot be drawn.  Tompaso geothermal system is characterised primarily by variations in the fracturing within the reservoir. Secondary mineralogy and the structure of present-day temperature of the system suggest that the movement of hydrothermal fluids at Tompaso is controlled by faults: the Soputan, Tempang, and A-A’ faults, the last defined for the first time in this thesis. Soputan Fault controls the outflow of the system. On the other hand, the influence of Tempang and A-A’ faults is dominant only in the upper portion of the system. The A-A’ fault likely acts as a channel for cooler meteoric surface water, while the Tempang Fault is inferred to have experienced self-sealing and appears to be an impermeable structure in the system. The self-sealing process of the Tempang Fault and/or the introduction of meteoric water through the A-A’ fault may be related to the cooling of the northern and western part of the system.  The challenges in identifying protoliths in active geothermal areas is addressed here through studies of the influence of andesite textures on the preferences of hydrothermal alteration processes. Wairakei andesites were chosen for comparison to Tompaso andesites, especially because of its different geological setting and geothermal reservoir structure. The results suggest that mineral composition and arrangement affect the preference of hydrothermal alteration on andesites.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Master of Science

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Wilson, Colin