Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Gas and isotope chemistry of thermal features in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

May 13, 2011

This report presents 130 gas analyses and 31 related water analyses on samples collected from thermal features at Yellowstone between 2003 and 2009. An overview of previous studies of gas emissions at Yellowstone is also given. The analytical results from the present study include bulk chemistry of gases and waters and isotope values for water and steam (delta18O, dealtaD), carbon dioxide (delta13C only), methane (delta13C only), helium, neon, and argon. We include appendixes containing photos of sample sites, geographic information system (GIS) files including shape and kml formats, and analytical results in spreadsheets. In addition, we provide a lengthy discussion of previous work on gas chemistry at Yellowstone and a general discussion of the implications of our results. We demonstrate that gases collected from different thermal areas often have distinct chemical signatures, and that differences across the thermal areas are not a simple function of surface temperatures or the type of feature. Instead, gas chemistry and isotopic composition are linked to subsurface lithologies and varying contributions from magmatic, crustal, and meteoric sources.

Publication Year 2011
Title Gas and isotope chemistry of thermal features in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
DOI 10.3133/sir20115012
Authors D. Bergfeld, Jacob B. Lowenstern, Andrew G. Hunt, W.C. Pat Shanks, William Evans
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2011-5012
Index ID sir20115012
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Hazards Program; Volcano Science Center