Dynamic Heating and Decompression Experiments on Dacite and Rhyolite Magmas

Monday, 14 December 2015: 08:15
104 (Moscone South)
Benjamin James Andrews, Smithsonian Institution, Global Volcanism Program, Washington, DC, United States, Laura Waters, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI, United States and Stephanie B Grocke, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, United States
Mineral reaction rims, zoned crystals, and myriad growth or dissolution textures provide evidence for changes in magma pressure, temperature, or composition. Quantifying the magnitudes, timescales and length scales of those variations is a fundamental challenge of volcanology and igneous petrology; experiments provide quantitative insights into how magmas react to changes in pressure and temperature that can be used to address that challenge. We use single-step and dynamic experiments conducted in cold seal pressure vessels to study the responses of dacite and rhyolite magmas to heating and decompression events. During single-step decompression (or heating) experiments, conditions are changed nearly instantaneously from the initial to final state in one step, or several smaller steps, whereas “dynamic experiments” have continuous variation in pressure and/or temperature. These two types of experiments yield useful and complementary information describing crystal nucleation, growth, and reaction rates in response to changing (as opposed to steady state) conditions. Here we discuss isothermal decompression experiments that show substantial path-dependence for runs with equivalent time-averaged decompression rates as slow as 0.27 MPa/h for >500 h. Continuous decompression experiments often contain fewer but larger plagioclase crystals than are present in single-step runs, and those new crystals often show complex growth textures. Our results suggest that even slow changes in storage conditions can disrupt melt structure and greatly retard nucleation provided the changes are steady. We hypothesize that if the decompression path remains steady and continuous (absent a stall on and/or rapid decompression), the magma can remain in a growth-dominated regime even though it is far from equilibrium.