Reconstructing CO2 concentrations in basaltic melt inclusions from Cascade cinder cones using Raman analysis of vapor bubbles

Friday, 19 December 2014
Ellen Marie Aster1, Paul J Wallace1, Lowell Moore2, Esteban Gazel3 and Robert J Bodnar3, (1)University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, United States, (2)Virginia Polytech State University, Blacksburg, VA, United States, (3)Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, United States
Because melt inclusions (MIs) trap melt prior to eruptive degassing, they are useful probes of melt volatile concentrations. However, during post-entrapment cooling and crystallization, the melt in the inclusion contracts more than the mineral host, causing depressurization and nucleation of a vapor bubble. This causes pressure-soluble volatiles, particularly CO2, to exsolve from the melt into the bubble. To explore the extent of CO2 loss, CO2 densities in bubbles were estimated using data from Raman analysis of olivine-hosted melt inclusions from two cinder cones in the southern Cascade Arc (Basalt of Round Valley Butte [BRVB]; Basalt of Old Railroad Grade [BORG]). In BRVB, bubble vol. % (bubble vol./MI vol.) and measured CO2 densities ranged from 0.9 – 6.7 vol. % and 0.05– 0.24 g/cm3, respectively. In BORG, bubble vol. % and CO2 densities ranged from 1.4 - 9.2 vol. % and 0.07 – 0.29 g/cm3, respectively. To eliminate MI containing bubbles that were co-entrapped with the melt, we used a model from Riker (2005) to predict bubble vol. % as a function of the difference between eruption and formation temperatures. This suggested that bubbles larger than ~3.3 vol. % should be eliminated from CO2 reconstructions. Using average values of MI H2O and CO2 measured by FTIR, we added CO2 from the bubbles back into the MIs to obtain estimates of dissolved CO2 at the time of trapping. Analyzed concentrations were 933 ppm CO2 and 2.8 wt. % H2O for BORG (2.7 kbar, or ~9 km depth), with a reconstructed CO2 concentration of 1860 ± 612 (2s) ppm. Analyzed concentrations for BRVB were 426 ppm CO2 and 1.6 wt. % H2O (1.1 kbar, or ~3.7 km depth), with a reconstructed CO2 concentration of 2320 ± 1688 (2s) ppm. Using the reconstructed CO2 concentrations, VolatileCalc estimates place both BORG and BRVB MI entrapment at 4.3 kbar, or ~14 km depth. Thus, adding the CO2 in bubbles back to the CO2 in the glass of MIs is essential for determining accurate depths of magma crystallization.