Towards true 3D textural analysis; using your crystal mush wisely.
Thursday, 18 December 2014: 3:10 PM
The crystal cargo that is found in volcanic and plutonic rocks contains a wealth of information about magmatic mush processes, crystallisation history, crystal entrainment and recycling. Phenocryst populations predominantly record episodes of growth/nucleation and bulk geochemical changes within an evolving crystal-melt body. Ante- and xeno-crysts provide useful clues to the nature of mush interaction with wall rock and with principal magma(s). Furthermore, crystal evolutions (core to rim) record pathways through pressure, temperature and compositional space. These can often illustrate complex recycling within systems, describing the plumbing architecture. Understanding this architecture underpins our knowledge of how igneous systems can interact with the crust, grow, freeze, re-mobilise and prime for eruption. Initially, 2D studies produced corrected 3D crystal size distributions to help provide information about nucleation and residence times. It immediately became clear that crystal shape is an important factor in determining the confidence placed upon 3D reconstructions of 2D data. Additionally studies utilised serial sections of medium- to coarse-grain-size populations which allowed 3D reconstruction using modelling software to be improved, since size and shape etc. can be directly constrained. Finally the advent of textural studies using X-ray tomography has revolutionised the way in which we can inspect the crystal cargo in mushy systems, allowing us to image in great detail crystal packing arrangements, 3D CSDs, shapes and orientations etc. The latest most innovative studies use X-ray micro-computed tomography to rapidly characterise chemical populations within the crystal cargo, adding a further dimension to this approach, and implies the ability to untangle magmatic chemical components to better understand their individual and combined evolution. In this contribution key examples of the different types of textural analysis techniques in 2D and 3D, including texture movie animations, are used from both plutonic and volcanic systems to highlight the roll of this approach towards a goal of true 3D textural analysis.