Phenocrysts of sodic sanidine from twelve upper Cenozoic units of silicic ash-flow tuff and lava from the Western United States contain from 0.25 to 0.45 the Rb present in the associated groundmass materials. The ratios of potassium to rubidium in the sanidines are, on the average, about four times greater than those of the groundmass. Separation of phenocrystic sanidine from salic melts provides an efficient method for raising the Rb content and lowering the K/Rb ratio of the melts, although the amount of differentiation probably is limited by continuous reequilibration of the alkalis between crystal and liquid phases through ion exchange. Syenites of cumulate origin will have appreciably lower Rb contents and higher K/Rb ratios than the melts from which they precipitated. Available data on the distribution of Rb between synthetic biotite and K-sanidine demonstrate that the separation of biotite probably will not deplete salic melts in Rb relative to K. ?? 1970 Springer-Verlag.
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Distribution of rubidium between sodic sanidine and natural silicic liquid