An aqueous solution with temperatures exceeding Earth’s surface temperature (hydro = water, thermal = hot). Hydrothermal solutions originate in Earth’s subsurface and carry dissolved minerals, salts, and gases.
In Earth Sciences, hydrothermal solutions are predominantly hot briny aqueous solutions present in Earth’s subsurface and surface. They exist in meteoric, seawater, (sedimentary) basinal, metaphormic as well as magmatic systems, and are solvents for mineral-building and carbon-bearing species, as well as gases, and often carry high concentrations of sodium chloride. These solutions are key actors to both mass and heat transport in the subsurface, and have formed vast numbers of hydrothermal mineral deposits throughout geological times. The study of hydrothermal solutions is needed to resolve the conditions under which metals ions migrate in hot briny fluids in Earth’s crust to form economically valuable mineral deposits, known as hydrothermal ore...
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