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Time scales of crystal mixing in magma mushes

Abstract : Magma mixing is widely recognized as a means of producing compositional diversity and preconditioning magmas for eruption. However, the processes and associated time scales that produce the commonly observed expressions of magma mixing are poorly understood, especially under crystal-rich conditions. Here we introduce and exemplify a parameterized method to predict the characteristic mixing time of crystals in a crystal-rich magma mush that is subject to open-system reintrusion events. Our approach includes novel numerical simulations that resolve multiphase particle-fluid interactions. It also quantifies the crystal mixing by calculating both the local and system-wide progressive loss of the spatial correlation of individual crystals throughout the mixing region. Both inertial and viscous time scales for bulk mixing are introduced. Estimated mixing times are compared to natural examples and the time for basaltic mush systems to become well mixed can be on the order of 10 days.
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Jillian M. Schleicher, George W. Bergantz, Robert E. Breidenthal, Alain Burgisser. Time scales of crystal mixing in magma mushes. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2016, 43, pp.1543-1550. ⟨10.1002/2015GL067372⟩. ⟨insu-03596386⟩

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