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Ca isotopes record rapid crystal growth in volcanic and subvolcanic systems

Abstract : Kinetic calcium isotope effects can be used as growth-rate proxies for volcanic and subvolcanic minerals. Here, we analyze Ca isotopic compositions in experimental and natural samples and confirm that large kinetic effects (>2‰) can occur during magmatic plagioclase crystallization. Experiments confirm theoretical predictions that disequilibrium isotope effects depend mainly on the rates for crystal growth relative to liquid phase Ca diffusivity (R/D). Plagioclase phenocrysts from the 1915 Mount Lassen rhyodacite eruption, the ∼650-y-old Deadman Creek Dome eruption, and several mafic subvolcanic orbicules and plagioclase comb layers from Northern California have disequilibrium Ca isotopic compositions that suggest rapid crystal growth rates (>1 cm/y to 15 cm/y). The Ca isotope results, combined with complementary crystal-size distribution analyses, suggest that magmatic rejuvenation (and eruption) events, as reflected in crystal growth times, can be as short as ∼10−3 y. Although mafic systems are predicted to have shorter magmatic rejuvenation periods, we find similarly short timescales in both mafic and silicic systems. These results are consistent with a growing body of evidence suggesting that dominantly crystalline volcanic magma reservoirs can be rapidly reactivated by the injection of fresh magma prior to eruption. By focusing on a common mineral such as plagioclase, this approach can be applied across all major magmatic compositions, suggesting that Ca isotopes can be used as a tool for investigating the dynamics and timing of volcanic eruptions.
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Michael Antonelli, Tushar Mittal, Anders Mccarthy, Barbara Tripoli, James Watkins, et al.. Ca isotopes record rapid crystal growth in volcanic and subvolcanic systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , National Academy of Sciences, 2019, 116 (41), pp.20315-20321. ⟨10.1073/pnas.1908921116⟩. ⟨insu-02558381⟩

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