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Major element chemistry of water from Old Faithful Geyser and the Firehole River, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

June 26, 2024

Between April and August 2009 four water samples were collected from the outflow channel of Old Faithful Geyser in the Upper Geyser Bain, Yellowstone National Park. The samples were collected during the main phase of the eruptions when water flow was at maximum rate. In addition, two samples of stream flow were collected in November 2016 from the Firehole River near the U.S. Geological Survey gaging site at Old Faithful (site ID 06036805) above the Upper Geyser Basin and at Biscuit Basin below the Upper Geyser Basin. Geochemical data released here supplement data from Old Faithful Geyser and other Upper Geyser Basin sites published previously in Hurwitz and others (2012).
Samples for major element chemistry were collected in two clean 60 milliliter high-density polyethylene bottles and filtered in the field with a 0.45 micrometer filter. One bottle from each sample was acidified with nitric acid within 24 hours for cation analysis. Chemical analyses were carried out at the U.S. Geological Survey laboratories in Menlo Park, California. The concentrations of sulfate (SO42-), chloride (Cl-), and fluoride (F-) and bromine (Br-) were determined with a Dionex ICS-2000 ion chromatograph with analytical errors lower than 3% for Cl-, F-, and SO42- and lower than 5% for Br-. Total alkalinity as HCO3- was determined by titrating ten milliliters of sample with 0.05 N sulfuric acid to the bicarbonate end-point. The analytical error in the determined alkalinity concentrations is approximately 5%. Cation concentrations were determined using an inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) using a ThermoScientific ICAP 6500 Duo. Analytical errors for Na+, K+, Li+, Al3+ and B are <5%. For SiO2 and the very low concentrations of Mg2+ and Ca2+ in the samples, the analytical errors are <10%.
Ralph Taylor and Jeff Cullen are thanked for sampling, and Deb Bergfeld, Bill Evans and Mark Huebner are thanked for the chemical analyses.
Reference cited:
Hurwitz, S., Hunt, A.G. and Evans, W.C., 2012. Temporal variations of geyser water chemistry in the Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, USA. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 13(12).

Publication Year 2024
Title Major element chemistry of water from Old Faithful Geyser and the Firehole River, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
DOI 10.5066/P139XEUL
Authors Shaul Hurwitz
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization USGS Volcano Science Center