New stable isotope and noble gas data obtained from fumarolic and bubbling gases and hot spring waters sampled from Deception Island, Antarctica, were analysed to constrain the geochemical features of the island's active hydrothermal system and magmatism in the Bransfield back-arc basin. The 3He/4He ratios of the gases (< 9.8 × 10-6), which are slightly lower than typical MORB values, suggest that the Deception Island magma was generated in the mantle wedge of a MORB-type source but the signature was influenced by the addition of radiogenic 4He derived from subducted components in the former Phoenix Plate. The N2/He ratios of fumarolic gas are higher than those of typical mantle-derived gases suggesting that N2 was added during decomposition of sediments in the subducting slab. The δ13C values of -5 to -6‰ for CO2 also indicate degassing from a MORB-type mantle source. The H2/Ar- and SiO2 geothermometers indicate that the temperatures in the hydrothermal system below Deception Island range from ~150°C to ~300°C. The δD and δ18O values measured from fumarolic gas and hot spring waters do not indicate any contribution of magmatic water to the samples. The major ionic components and δD-δ18O-δ34S values indicate that hot spring waters are a mixture of local meteoric water and seawater. Mn and SiO2 in spring waters were enriched relative to seawater reflecting water-rock interaction at depth.
(Received June 13 2008)
(Accepted November 09 2008)