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Chemistry and isotope ratios of sulfur in basalts and volcanic gases at Kilauea volcano, Hawaii

January 1, 1982

Eighteen basalts and some volcanic gases from the submarine and subaerial parts of Kilauea volcano were analyzed for the concentration and isotope ratios of sulfur. By means of a newly developed technique, sulfide and sulfate sulfur in the basalts were separately but simultaneously determined. The submarine basalt has 700 ?? 100 ppm total sulfur with ??34S??s of 0.7 ?? 0.1 ???. The sulfate/sulfide molar ratio ranges from 0.15 to 0.56 and the fractionation factor between sulfate and sulfide is +7.5 ?? 1.5???. On the other hand, the concentration and ??34S??s values of the total sulfur in the subaerial basalt are reduced to 150 ?? 50 ppm and -0.8 ?? 0.2???, respectively. The sulfate to sulfide ratio and the fractionation factor between them are also smaller, 0.01 to 0.25 and +3.0???, respectively. Chemical and isotopic evidence strongly suggests that sulfate and sulfide in the submarine basalt are in chemical and isotopic equilibria with each other at magmatic conditions. Their relative abundance and the isotope fractionation factors may be used to estimate the f{hook}o2 and temperature of these basalts at the time of their extrusion onto the sea floor. The observed change in sulfur chemistry and isotopic ratios from the submarine to subaerial basalts can be interpreted as degassing of the SO2 from basalt thereby depleting sulfate and 34S in basalt. The volcanic sulfur gases, predominantly SO2, from the 1971 and 1974 fissures in Kilauea Crater have ??34S values of 0.8 to 0.9%., slightly heavier than the total sulfur in the submarine basalts and definitely heavier than the subaerial basalts, in accord with the above model. However, the ??34S value of sulfur gases (largely SO2) from Sulfur Bank is 8.0%., implying a secondary origin of the sulfur. The ??34S values of native sulfur deposits at various sites of Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanos, sulfate ions of four deep wells and hydrogen sulfide from a geothermal well along the east rift zone are also reported. The high ??34S values (+5 to +6%.o) found for the hydrogen sulfide might be an indication of hot basaltseawater reaction beneath the east rift zone. ?? 1982.

Publication Year 1982
Title Chemistry and isotope ratios of sulfur in basalts and volcanic gases at Kilauea volcano, Hawaii
Authors H. Sakai, T. J. Casadevall, J. G. Moore
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Index ID 70011692
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse