Volatile-filled vesicles are present in minor amounts in all samples of mid-ocean basalt yet collected (and presumably erupted) down to depths of 4.8 km. When such vesicles are pierced in liquid under standard conditions, the volume expansion of the gas is 0.2 ?? 0.05 times the eruption pressure in bars or 20 ?? 5 times the eruption depth in km. Such expansion could be used as a measure of eruption depth. A variety of techniques: (1) vacuum crushing and gas chromatographic, freezing separation, and mass spectrographic analyses; (2) measurements of phase changes on a freezing microscope stage; (3) microscopic chemical and solubility observations; and (4) volume change measurements, all indicate that CO2 comprises more than 95% by volume of the vesicle gas in several submarine basalt samples from the Atlantic and Pacific. The CO2 held in vesicles is present in quantities about equal to or greater than that presumed to be dissolved in the glass (melt) and amounts to 400-900 ppm of the rock. The rigid temperature of the glass is 800-1000??C and increases for shallower samples. A sulfur gas was originally present in subordinate amounts in the vesicles, but has largely reacted with iron in the vesicle walls to produce sulfide spherules. ?? 1977.