Vesicle shrinkage in hydrous phonolitic melt during cooling

A. Allabar, K. J. Dobson, C. C. Bauer, M. Nowak

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10 Citations (Scopus)
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The ascent of hydrous magma prior to volcanic eruptions is largely driven by the formation of H2O vesicles and their subsequent growth upon further decompression. Porosity controls buoyancy as well as vesicle coalescence and percolation, and is important when identifying the differences between equilibrium or disequilibrium degassing from textural analysis of eruptive products. Decompression experiments are routinely used to simulate magma ascent. Samples exposed to high temperature (T) and pressure (P) are decompressed and rapidly cooled to ambient T for analysis. During cooling, fluid vesicles may shrink due to decrease of the molar volume of H2O and by resorption of H2O back into the melt driven by solubility increase with decreasing T at P< 300 MPa. Here we quantify the extent to which vesicles shrink during cooling using a series of decompression experiments with hydrous phonolitic melt (5.3-3.3 w t% H2O, T between 1323-1373 K, decompressed from 200 to 110-20 MPa). Most samples degassed at near-equilibrium conditions during decompression. However, the porosities of quenched samples are significantly lower than expected equilibrium porosities prior to cooling. At a cooling rate of 44 K·s-1, the fictive temperature Tf, where vesicle shrinkage stops, is up to200K above the glass transition temperature (Tg), Furthermore, decreasing cooling rate enhances vesicles shrinkage. We assess the implications of these findings on previous experimental degassing studies using phonolitic melt, and highlight the importance of correctly interpreting experimental porosity data, before any comparison to natural volcanic ejecta can be attempted.
Original languageEnglish
Article number21
Number of pages19
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2020


  • decompression experiments
  • visiculation
  • vesicle shrinkage
  • quench effect
  • H2O resorption
  • fictive temperature


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