Distribution factors of phosphorus (P in mineral/P in liquid) between phenocryst minerals and coexisting basaltic groundmass are: olivine (Fa20: 0.04 to 0.02; orthopyroxene (Fs20): 0.01; augite: 0.02 to 0.01; plagioclase: 0.02; ilmenite: 0.04. Because of the smallness of these distribution factors the ratio of phosphorus in the initial liquid to that in the residual liquid (phosphorus ratio) ideally equals the mass fraction of residual liquid minus 0.00 -0.04. The phosphorus ratio facilitates, therefore, quantitative comparison of the variation of major and minor elements with crystallization of basaltic liquids. A phosphorus fractionation diagram is a log-log graph of the wt. % of any chemical element or oxide vs. the phosphorus ratio. The slopes of variation curves on such a fractionation diagram approximately equal unity minus the crystal aggregate/liquid distribution factor. Knowledge of the individual mineral/liquid distribution factors makes it possible to estimate the relative proportions of crystallizing minerals from the slopes of curves on a phosphorus fractionation diagram prior to the crystallization of apatite or other phosphorus-rich mineral. This was done fairly successfully for the Alae Lava Lake, Hawaii. ?? 1969.
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Phosphorus fractionation diagram as a quantitative indicator of crystallization differentiation of basaltic liquids