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Crystallization and nucleation kinetics in volcanic systems

C. Agostini
  • Function : Author
A. Fortunati
  • Function : Author
M. R. Carroll
  • Function : Author
P. Landi
  • Function : Author


The main objective of this experimental study is to constrain and quantitatively model the complex solidification process that transforms a magma in a solid material. Of major interest are crystal nucleation and growth driven by isothermal decompression of hydrous magmas, and comparison with results from more abundant crystal growth/nucleation data obtained in isobaric cooling experiments. This research concerns two different volcanic systems, Pantelleria (peralkaline rhyolite) and Stromboli (basalt), to better understand how crystallization kinetics can affect different magma compositions. For Stromboli volcanic system TZM apparatus has been used to perform decompression runs at Bayerisches Geoinstitut in Bayreuth (DE). As for Pantelleria composition, cooling experiments has been done using IHPV devices at ISTO of Orléans (FR), on the basis of previous phase equilibrium work (Di Carlo et al., 2010). First obtained results for Stromboli case show high rates of nucleation and crystal growth during the initial stages of crystallization which were followed by crystal growth at approximately constant number densities as equilibrium was approached. Shapes of crystals growing in melts are controlled by the kinetics of crystallization and may provide information about the degree of undercooling experienced by batches of magma en route to the surface (Lofgren, 1980). The study of crystallization kinetics through phases growth rates (Couch et al., 2003), together with the calculation of nucleation density and nucleation rates (Hammer et al., 1999) represent a step toward the estimation of the time scales of magmatic processes in volcanic systems and the interpretation of shallow magmatic processes. The results for Stromboli suggest average crystal growth timescales on the order of weeks, but this is complicated by clear evidence that some crystals have experienced repeated periods of both dissolution and growth (Landi et al., 2004).
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insu-00838462 , version 1 (25-06-2013)



C. Agostini, A. Fortunati, M. R. Carroll, Bruno Scaillet, P. Landi. Crystallization and nucleation kinetics in volcanic systems. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting, 2011, United States. ⟨insu-00838462⟩
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