Magma transport and olivine crystallization depths in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone inferred from experimentally rehomogenized melt inclusions

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
By: , and 



Concentrations of H2O and CO2 in olivine-hosted melt inclusions can be used to estimate crystallization depths for the olivine host. However, the original dissolved CO2concentration of melt inclusions at the time of trapping can be difficult to measure directly because in many cases substantial CO2 is transferred to shrinkage bubbles that form during post-entrapment cooling and crystallization. To investigate this problem, we heated olivine from the 1959 Kīlauea Iki and 1960 Kapoho (Hawai‘i) eruptions in a 1-atm furnace to temperatures above the melt inclusion trapping temperature to redissolve the CO2 in shrinkage bubbles. The measured CO2 concentrations of the experimentally rehomogenized inclusions (⩽590 ppm for Kīlauea Iki [n=10]; ⩽880 ppm for Kapoho, with one inclusion at 1863 ppm [n=38]) overlap with values for naturally quenched inclusions from the same samples, but experimentally rehomogenized inclusions have higher within-sample median CO2 values than naturally quenched inclusions, indicating at least partial dissolution of CO2 from the vapor bubble during heating. Comparison of our data with predictions from modeling of vapor bubble formation and published Raman data on the density of CO2 in the vapor bubbles suggests that 55-85% of the dissolved CO2 in the melt inclusions at the time of trapping was lost to post-entrapment shrinkage bubbles. Our results combined with the Raman data demonstrate that olivine from the early part of the Kīlauea Iki eruption crystallized at <6 km depth, with the majority of olivine in the 1-3 km depth range. These depths are consistent with the interpretation that the Kīlauea Iki magma was supplied from Kīlauea’s summit magma reservoir (∼2-5 km depth). In contrast, olivine from Kapoho, which was the rift zone extension of the Kīlauea Iki eruption, crystallized over a much wider range of depths (∼1-16 km). The wider depth range requires magma transport during the Kapoho eruption from deep beneath the summit region and/or from deep beneath Kīlauea’s east rift zone. The deeply derived olivine crystals and their host magma mixed with stored, more evolved magma in the rift zone, and the mixture was later erupted at Kapoho.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Magma transport and olivine crystallization depths in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone inferred from experimentally rehomogenized melt inclusions
Series title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
DOI 10.1016/j.gca.2016.04.020
Volume 185
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Geochemical Society
Publisher location Oxford
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 19 p.
First page 232
Last page 250
Country United States
State Hawaii
County Hawaii
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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