Crystallization in basaltic magmas revealed via in situ 4D synchrotron X-ray microtomography

M Polacci, F Arzilli, G La Spina, N Le Gall, Biao Cai, M E Hartley, D Di Genova, N T Vo, S Nonni, R C Atwood, E W Llewellin, P D Lee, M R Burton

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27 Citations (Scopus)
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Magma crystallisation is a fundamental process driving eruptions and controlling the style of volcanic activity. Crystal nucleation delay, heterogeneous and homogeneous nucleation and crystal growth are all time-dependent processes, however, there is a paucity of real-time experimental data on crystal nucleation and growth kinetics, particularly at the beginning of crystallisation when conditions are far from equilibrium. Here, we reveal the first in situ 3D
time-dependent observations of crystal nucleation and growth kinetics in a natural magma, reproducing the crystallisation occurring in real-time during a lava flow, by combining a bespoke high-temperature environmental cell with fast synchrotron X-ray microtomography. We find that both crystal nucleation and growth occur in pulses, with the first crystallisation wave producing a relatively low volume fraction of crystals and hence negligible influence
Original languageEnglish
Article number8377
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2018


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