Heterogeneously entrapped, vapor-rich melt inclusions record pre-eruptive magmatic volatile contents


Steele‑MacInnis, M.
Esposito, R.
Moore, L.R.
Hartley, M.E.

Silicate melt inclusions (MI) commonly provide the best record of pre-eruptive H2O and CO2 contents of subvolcanic melts, but the concentrations of CO2 and H2O in the melt (glass) phase within MI can be modified by partitioning into a vapor bubble after trapping. Melt inclusions may also enclose vapor bubbles together with the melt (i.e., heterogeneous entrapment), affecting the bulk volatile composition of the MI, and its post-entrapment evolution. In this study, we use numerical modeling to examine the systematics of post-entrapment volatile evolution within MI containing various proportions of trapped vapor from zero to 95 volume percent. Modeling indicates that inclusions that trap only a vapor-saturated melt exhibit significant decrease in CO2 and moderate increase in H2O concentrations in the melt upon nucleation and growth of a vapor bubble. In contrast, inclusions that trap melt plus vapor exhibit subdued CO2 depletion at equivalent conditions. In the extreme case of inclusions that trap mostly the vapor phase (i.e., CO2 – H2O fluid inclusions containing trapped melt), degassing of CO2 from the melt is negligible. In the latter scenario, the large fraction of vapor  enclosed in the MI during trapping essentially serves as a buffer, preventing post-entrapment modification of volatile concentrations in the melt. Hence, the glass phase within such heterogeneously entrapped, vapor-rich MI records the volatile concentrations of the melt at the time of trapping. These numerical modeling results suggest that heterogeneously entrapped MI containing large vapor bubbles represent amenable samples for constraining pre-eruptive volatile concentrations of subvolcanic melts.

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Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 172, p. 18, doi: 10.1007/s00410-017-1343-3