Experimental and textural constraints on mafic enclave formation in volcanic rocks

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research

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DOI: 10.1016/S0377-0273(02)00309-8



We have used experiments and textural analysis to investigate the process of enclave formation during magma mixing at Southwest Trident volcano, Alaska. Andesite enclaves are present throughout the four dacite lava flows produced by the eruption, and resemble mafic enclaves commonly found in other volcanic rocks. Our experiments replicate the pressure-temperature-time path taken by enclave-forming andesite magma as it is engulfed in dacite during magma mixing. Pressure and temperature information for the andesite and dacite are from [Coombs et al., Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 140 (2000) 99-118]. The andesite was annealed at 1000??C, and then cooled to 890??C at rates of 110??C h1, 10??C h1 and 2??C h1. Once cooled to 890??C, andesite was held at this lower temperature from times ranging from 1 to 40 h. The andesite that was cooled at the slower rates of 2??C h1 and 10??C h1 most resembles enclave groundmass texturally and compositionally. Based on simple thermal calculations, these rates are more consistent with cooling of the andesite groundmass below an andesite-dacite interface than with cooling of enclave-sized spheres. If enclaves do crystallize as spheres, post-crystallization disaggregation must occur. Calculations using the MELTS algorithm [Ghiorso and Sack, Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 119 (1995) 197-212] show that for incoming andesite to become less dense than the dacite to become less dense ???34 volume % of its groundmass must crystallize to undergo~18 volume % vesiculation; these values are similar to those determined for Southwest Trident enclaves. Thus such crystallization may lead to 'flotation' of enclaves and be a viable mechanism for enclave formation and dispersal. The residual melt in the cooling experiments did not evolve to rhyolitic compositions such as seen in natural enclaves due to a lack of a decompression step in the experiments. Decompression experiments on Southwest Trident dacite suggest an average ascent rate for the eruption of ???2-3 MPa h1. An andesite experiment that was cooled and then decompressed at this rate contains melt that matches that of the natural enclaves. It is apparent that decompression (ascent)-induced crystallization occurs in enclaves, but not in the form of microlites as happens in the dacite host, due either to insufficient residence time at chamber temperatures or to the pre-existing microphenocrysts which act as sites for new growth. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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Experimental and textural constraints on mafic enclave formation in volcanic rocks
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Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
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