Volcanic Lakes pp 323-339 | Cite as

How Steep Is My Seep? Seepage in Volcanic Lakes, Hints from Numerical Simulations

  • Micol Todesco
  • Dmitri RouwetEmail author
  • Massimo Nespoli
  • Maurizio Bonafede
Part of the Advances in Volcanology book series (VOLCAN)


The existence and survival of volcanic lakes require the accomplishment of a delicate balance between meteoric recharge, evaporation, and water loss by infiltration within the volcanic edifice, commonly referred to as seepage. A deep-seated, volcanic component may participate to a variable extent to the lake’s evolution, depending on volcanic activity. In this work, we apply a numerical model of hydrothermal fluid circulation to study the interaction between the hot volcanic gases and the shallow lake water. We focus on the conceptual model developed for Poás volcano (Costa Rica), where a shallow magma intrusion drives the hydrothermal activity underneath and around the crater lake. Numerical simulations are carried out to assess the role of relevant system properties, including rock permeability, reservoir conditions, lake geometry, and meteoric recharge. Our results suggest that vertical seepage can be severely hindered by the ascent of volcanic gases, whereas horizontal infiltration through the vertical lake walls may ensure a long-term water loss. Our simulations also show that the permeability distribution, especially around the lake, determines the overall pattern of circulation affecting the development and spatial distribution of hot springs and fumaroles, and ultimately controlling the evolution of the lake.


Active crater lake Numerical simulations Seepage TOUGH2 modeling Hydrothermal circulation 

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (AVI 2540 kb)

Supplementary material 2 (AVI 2600 kb)

Supplementary material 3 (AVI 2724 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Micol Todesco
    • 1
  • Dmitri Rouwet
    • 1
    Email author
  • Massimo Nespoli
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maurizio Bonafede
    • 2
  1. 1.Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e VulcanologiaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Università degliBolognaItaly

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