Zeolitization Of Intracaldera Sediments And Rhyolitic Rocks In The 1.25 Ma Lake Of Valles Caldera, New Mexico, USA

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Journal Article: Zeolitization Of Intracaldera Sediments And Rhyolitic Rocks In The 1.25 Ma Lake Of Valles Caldera, New Mexico, USA

Abstract
Quantitative X-ray diffraction analysis of about 80 rhyolite and associated lacustrine rocks has characterized previously unrecognized zeolitic alteration throughout the Valles caldera resurgent dome. The alteration assemblage consists primarily of smectite-clinoptilolite-mordenite-silica, which replaces groundmass and fills voids, especially in the tuffs and lacustrine rocks. Original rock textures are routinely preserved. Mineralization typically extends to depths of only a few tens of meters and resembles shallow 'caldera-type zeolitization' as defined by Utada et al. (Utada, M., Shimizu, M., Ito, T., Inoue, A., 1999. Alteration of caldera-forming rocks related to the Sanzugawa volcanotectonic depression, northeast Honshu, Japan - with special reference to 'caldera-type zeolitization.' Resource Geol. Spec. Issue No. 20, 129-140). Geology and 40Ar/39Ar dates limit the period of extensive zeolite growth to roughly the first 30 kyr after the current caldera formed (ca. 1.25 to 1.22 Ma). Zeolitic alteration was promoted by saturation of shallow rocks with alkaline lake water (a mixture of meteoric waters and degassed hydrothermal fluids) and by high thermal gradients caused by cooling of the underlying magma body and earliest post-caldera rhyolite eruptions. Zeolitic alteration of this type is not found in the later volcanic and lacustrine rocks of the caldera moat (<= 0.8 Ma) suggesting that later lake waters were cooler and less alkaline. The shallow zeolitic alteration does not have characteristics resembling classic, alkaline lake zeolite deposits (no analcime, erionite, or chabazite) nor does it contain zeolites common in high-temperature hydrothermal systems (laumontite or wairakite). Although aerially extensive, the early zeolitic alteration does not form laterally continuous beds and are consequently, not of economic significance.

Authors 
Steve J. Chipera, Fraser E. Goff, Cathy J. Goff and Melissa Fittipaldo








Published Journal 
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 2008





DOI 
10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2008.06.032

Online 
Internet link for Zeolitization Of Intracaldera Sediments And Rhyolitic Rocks In The 1.25 Ma Lake Of Valles Caldera, New Mexico, USA

Citation

Steve J. Chipera,Fraser E. Goff,Cathy J. Goff,Melissa Fittipaldo. 2008. Zeolitization Of Intracaldera Sediments And Rhyolitic Rocks In The 1.25 Ma Lake Of Valles Caldera, New Mexico, USA. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 178(2):317-330.