Variations in the Cl, SO4, δD and δ18O in Water from Thermal Springs near Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico, Related to Seismic Activity

Abstract

Chemical and isotopic analyses of waters from 4 thermal springs of the Guerrero Pacific coast, the most seismically active area in Mexico, were weekly performed during a period of 1.5 years (October 2002 - March 2004). Within the same time interval more than 150 earthquakes with 3.5 <  M < 5.3 occurred in the area. The data display several anomalies in Cl, SO4, δD and δ18O, always immediately after an event, with a relaxation time of 3 - 4 weeks. The responses occurred only with earthquakes having an estimated epicentral site very close or almost coincident with the location of a spring. These results indicate that: 1) at least for earthquakes with M < 5.3 within the Guerrero “seismic gap” there were no precursors in the chemical (ionic) and isotopic composition of thermal waters (on the weekly basis); 2) two groups of springs near Acapulco, Dos Arroyos and Paso Real, are sensitive to seismic activity and therefore further monitoring of these springs may help to unravel the mechanisms of the “hydro-seismo-interaction” in the area.

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