Chemical and mineralogical studies of fresh and hydrothermally altered rhyolitic material in Upper and Lower Geyser Basins, Yellowstone National Park, show that all the altered rocks are enriched in Cs and that Cs is selectively concentrated in analcime. The Cs content of unaltered rhyolite lava flows, including those from which the altered sediments are derived, ranges from 2.5 to 7.6 ppm. The Cs content of analcime-bearing altered sedimentary rocks is as high as 3000 ppm, and in clinoptilolite-bearing altered sedimentary rocks Cs content is as high as 180 ppm. Altered rhyolite lava flows which were initially vitrophyres, now contain up to 250 ppm Cs, and those which were crystallized prior to hydrothermal alteration contain up to 14 ppm. Mineral concentrates of analcime contain as much as 4700 ppm Cs. The Cs must have been incorporated into the analcime structure during crystallization, rather than by later cation substitution, because analcime does not readily exchange Cs. The Cs Cl of the fluids circulating through the hydrothermal system varies, suggesting that Cs is not always a conservative ion and that Cs is lost from upflowing thermal waters due to water-rock interaction resulting in crystallization of Cs-bearing analcime. The source of Cs for Cs enrichment of the altered rocks is from leaching of rhyolitic rocks underlying the geyser basins, and from the top of the silicic magma chamber that underlies the area. Analcime is an important natural Cs sink, and the high Cs concentrations reported here may prove to be an important indicator of the environment of analcime crystallization. ?? 1983.
Additional publication details
Selective concentration of cesium in analcime during hydrothermal alteration, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming