Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems

Alteration of hyaloclastites in the HSDP 2 Phase 1 Drill Core: 2. Mass balance of the conversion of sideromelane to palagonite and chabazite



[1] The Hawaii Scientific Drilling Project 2 Phase 1 core permits study of each stage of alteration of basalt glass during burial because stages of the process are separated vertically. Previous work has shown that alteration of hyaloclastite occurs progressively. The latest stage observed in the Phase 1 core involves marginal replacement of sideromelane in shards with palagonite while simultaneously forming chabazite in pores. The basic reaction at this stage is sideromelane + components from pore waters = palagonite + chabazite + components to pore waters. Mass balance calculations show that Fe was virtually immobile in this process, being retained in palagonite. Na, Ca, Ba, P, Al, and Si were lost during palagonitization and not fully consumed in making chabazite. Mg was lost during palagonitization but retained elsewhere in smectite. K, Rb, and Sr were extracted from pore waters and enriched in the sum of the alteration products. The amount of enrichment depended upon the amount of chabazite present, which depended upon the porosity when chabazite formed. Ti, Y, U, Zr, Nb, REE, and Th were enriched in palagonite, compared to sideromelane, but were absent in chabazite. Mass balance of all phases for the entire alteration process (including earlier stages) was not possible because poorly consolidated samples do not yield accurate modal values of phases, trace element analysis of smectite was not possible, and exchange with lavas and intrusions in the succession cannot be evaluated. Calculations indicate that too little of major oxides, except Na2O, was released during palagonitization to account for the amount of smectite observed in hyaloclastites. The results of this study, and several others published in the literature, indicate that under various circumstances palagonitization will consume particular elements from pore fluid or release them to it. Such mobility implies that the hydrology of the particular system and the composition of the dissolved solids in the pore water will control whether palagonitization is a source or sink of elements. The potential exists that palagonitization of basalt glass is an important source or sink of elements for seawater and fluids circulating in the ocean crust.