Carolina Munoz Saez

Carolina Munoz Saez
Columbia University | CU · Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

PhD. Earth and Planetary Science

About

22
Publications
6,682
Reads
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359
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2020 - November 2020
City College of New York
Position
  • PostDoc Position
July 2020 - present
Columbia University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
November 2016 - July 2020
University of Chile
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
March 1999 - January 2007
University of Chile
Field of study
  • Geology

Publications

Publications (22)
Article
Full-text available
In silica‐rich hot spring environments, internally laminated, digitate sinter deposits are often interpreted as bio‐mediated structures. The organic components of microbial communities (cell surfaces, sheaths and extracellular polymeric substances) can act as templates for silica precipitation, therefore influencing digitate sinter morphogenesis. I...
Article
This study presents the first high resolution geophysical survey conducted in The El Tatio geothermal field, northern of Chile, focused on the detection of shallow subsurface structures and identification of ascending fluid pathways. TEM data was collected along 5 profiles crossing the two main geothermal basins (Upper and Middle Basin) to obtain a...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Natural geysers episodically erupt liquid water and steam and, thus, provide a window into multiphase hydrothermal systems. The size of and interval between eruptions can shift over time due to changes in the hydrothermal system and due to deeper magmatic processes. An improved understanding of geyser dynamics can provide insights into...
Article
Siliceous sinter deposits from El Tatio, Chile, preserve a wide variety of depositional environments and biosignatures, from high-temperature (~85 °C) vent-proximal facies to distal deposits dominated by silicified microbial mats. Four cores were drilled into an El Tatio sinster mound and associated distal apron to investigate changes in hydrotherm...
Article
Full-text available
Plain Language Summary The El Tatio geothermal field in the Chilean Altiplano contains large deposits of silica precipitated by hot springs, called sinter or geyserite. Silica sinter traps organic material that is suitable for radiocarbon dating; however, previous attempts using this methodology have shown inconsistencies that still need to be crit...
Article
Full-text available
Palisade fabric is a ubiquitous texture of silica sinter found in low temperature (<40°C) regimes of hot spring environments, and it is formed when populations of filamentous microorganisms act as templates for silica polymerization. Although it is known that postdepositional processes such as biological degradation and dewatering can strongly affe...
Article
Silica sinter deposits overlying geothermal fields are reliable records of environmental, geochemical, and biological changes through time. Therefore, determining the absolute ages of formation of these deposits is fundamental to constrain the timing and evolution of processes that have shaped silica precipitation on the Earth's surface. We perform...
Article
Full-text available
Broadband seismic data were recorded on ground surface around an exceptionally regular eruptive system, geyser "El Jefe", in the El Tatio geyser field, Chile. We identify two stages in the eruption, recharge and discharge, characterized by a radial expansion and contraction, respectively, of the surface around the geyser. We model the deformation w...
Article
El Tatio in northern Chile is one of the best-studied geothermal fields in South America. However, there remain open questions about the mass and energy budgets, water recharge rates and residence time in the subsurface, origin of dissolved solutes, and processes affecting the phase and chemical composition of groundwater and surface water. We meas...
Preprint
Natural geysers on Earth are uncommon and most of them are clustered in large basins that share common characteristics, specifically, a magmatic heat source, meteoric water supply, and a set of fractures and/or porous rocks that allow circulation, accumulation and periodic release of fluids. Most active geysers and sinter deposits in the Andes occu...
Article
Full-text available
In order to better understand the diverse discharge styles and eruption intervals observed at geothermal features, we performed three series of laboratory experiments with differing plumbing geometries. A single, straight conduit that connects a hot water bath (flask) to a vent (funnel) can originate geyser-like periodic eruptions, continuous disch...
Article
Sinters are siliceous, sedimentary deposits that form in geothermal areas. Formation occurs in two steps. Hot water circulates in the subsurface and dissolves silica from the host rock, usually rhyolites. Silica then precipitates after hot water is discharged and cools. Extensive sinter formations are linked to up-flow areas of fluids originating f...
Article
Full-text available
We compare and contrast data collected in 2012 and 2014 from the El Tatio geyser field, Chile. We identify geyser systems that evolve over time, including changes in the interval between eruptions (IBE), development of new thermal features, and interactions between geysers. We study three different cases: (a) an isolated geyser, which is periodic a...
Article
We present visual observations and temperature measurements from a laboratory model of a geyser. Our model incorporates a bubble trap, a zone in which vapor can accumulate in the geyser’s subsurface plumbing, in a vertical conduit connected to a basal chamber. Analogous features have been identified at several natural geysers. We observe three type...
Article
We performed field measurements at a geyser nicknamed “El Cobreloa”, located in the El Tatio Geyser Field, Northern Andes, Chile. The El Cobreloa geyser has two distinct eruption styles: minor eruptions, and more energetic and long-lived major eruptions. Minor eruptions splash hot water intermittently over an approximately 4 minute time period. Maj...
Article
Full-text available
The current paper analyzes the evolution of the Abanico Basin, in the Chilean Principal Cordillera in central Chile (33o-35oS). According to previous studies, the basin has been affected by two main deformational episodes: the first, related to extension, and the second, to partial basin inversion. Deposits of the Abanico Formation, Eocene- Oligoce...
Article
Full-text available
Sand-box experiments were designed to reproduce the effect of sedimentation during extensional basin development and tectonic inversion. These experiments were motivated by growing evidence for tectonic inversion in early Miocene times of an extensional basin (Abanico Basin) in the central Chilean Andes with contemporaneous intense volcanic activit...
Article
Full-text available
In the Agly Massif (Pyrenees), two Variscan plutons, the Saint-Arnac pluton and the Ansignan charnockite, intrude different levels of a c. 10 km thick crustal section. The Saint-Arnac pluton intrudes through upper crustal rocks and the Ansignan charnockite cuts mid-crustal country-rocks. A structural study of these plutons based on the anisotropy o...

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Project (1)
Project
High-altitude geyser fields in El Tatio, Chile, preserve abundant microbial communities and provide excellent analogues for conditions on ancient Earth and Mars. Our goals are to examine how silica preserves various microbial communities, what environmental parameters influence silicification, and how siliceous textures are altered over time.