The composition of clinoptilolite formed from volcanic glass was investigated from cuttings collected from the offshore MITI-Somaoki borehole, 52 km east of Soma City, Japan. Unaltered volcanic glass and clinoptilolite-replaced glass were found coexisting in the same silicic tuff at 1000 m depth, but unaltered volcanic glass and clinoptilolite did not coexist in individual glass shards, and each material analyzed in this study was pure. The SiO2 and Al2O3 contents of the pure clinoptilolite and the pure, unaltered glass were 69.32 and 13.05 wt. %, and 70.03 and 11.54 wt. %, respectively. The SiO2 content was almost the same and the Al2O3 content was greater in the clinoptilolite-replaced glass compared with the unaltered volcanic glass. As a result, the SiO2/Al2O3 ratio in the clinoptilolite-replaced glass (SiO2/Al2O3 = 5.31) was slightly lower than that of the unaltered volcanic glass (SiO2/Al2O3 = 6.07). The extra-framework cation composition of the clinoptilolite-replaced glass was three times richer in K (K2O = 7.84 wt. %) than the unaltered volcanic glass (K2O 2.59 wt. %). The cation selectivity of clinoptilolite, which shows a preference for K to Ca and Na, played an important role in the concentration of K in clinoptilolite during clinoptilolite formation from volcanic glass, although the initial pore waters and the volcanic glass were not especially relative K.
Clinoptilolite-replaced glass in the calcite-cemented tuff at 1100 m depth was not enriched in Ca, suggesting that the exchangable-cation composition of clinoptilolite did not change by exposure to Ca-rich solutions at this depth. Apparently, the exchangable-cation composition of clinoptilolite, once formed, is relatively stable and difficult to change, even under conditions in which calcite is precipitating on clinoptilolite crystals.