Hydration of rhyolitic glass during weathering as characterized by IR microspectroscopy

Tadashi Yokoyama, Satoshi Okumura, Satoru Nakashima

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29 Citations (Scopus)


The mechanism and rate of hydration of rhyolitic glass during weathering were studied. Doubly polished thin sections of two rhyolites with different duration of weathering (Ohsawa lava: 26,000 yr, Awanomikoto lava: 52,000 yr) were prepared. Optical microscope observation showed that altered layers had developed along the glass surfaces. IR spectral line profile analysis was conducted on the glass sections from the surface to the interior for a length of 250 μm and the contents of molecular H2O (H2Om), OH species (OH) and total water (H2Ot) were determined. The diffusion profile of H2Om in Ohsawa lava extends beyond the layer observed by optical microscope. The content of H2Om in the hydrated region is much higher than that of OH species. Thus, the reaction from H2Om to OH appears to be little and H2Om is the dominant water species moving into the glass during weathering. Based on the concentration profiles, the diffusion coefficients of H2Om(DH2 Om) and H2Ot(DH2 Ot) were determined to be 2.8 × 10-10 and 3.4 × 10-10 μm2 s-1 for Ohsawa lava, and 5.2 × 10-11 and 4.1 × 10-11 μm2 s-1 for Awanomikoto lava, respectively. The obtained DH2 Om during weathering are more than 2-3 orders of magnitude larger than the diffusion coefficient at ∼20 °C that is extrapolated from the diffusivity data for >400 °C. This might suggest that the mechanism of water transport is different at weathering conditions and >400 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jan 1


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