The mixing of magmas is a fundamental process in the Earth system causing extreme compositional variations in igneous rocks. This process can develop with different intensities both in space and time, making the interpretation of compositional patterns in igneous rocks a petrological challenge. As a time-dependent process, magma mixing has been suggested to preserve information about the time elapsed between the injection of a new magma into sub-volcanic magma chambers and eruptions. This allowed the use of magma mixing as an additional volcanological tool to infer the mixing-to-eruption timescales. In spite of the potential of magma mixing processes to provide information about the timing of volcanic eruptions its statistical robustness is not yet established. This represents a prerequisite to apply reliably this conceptual model. Here, new chaotic magma mixing experiments were performed at different times using natural melts. The degree of reproducibility of experimental results was tested repeating one experiment at the same starting conditions and comparing the compositional variability. We further tested the robustness of the statistical analysis by randomly removing from the analysed dataset a progressively increasing number of samples. Results highlight the robustness of the method to derive empirical relationships linking the efficiency of chemical exchanges and mixing time. These empirical relationships remain valid by removing up to 80% of the analytical determinations. Experimental results were applied to constrain the homogenization time of chemical heterogeneities in natural magmatic system during mixing. The calculations show that, when the mixing dynamics generate millimetre thick filaments, homogenization timescales of the order of a few minutes are to be expected.

Exponential decay of concentration variance during magma mixing: Robustness of a volcanic chronometer and implications for the homogenization of chemical heterogeneities in magmatic systems

ROSSI, STEFANO;PETRELLI, MAURIZIO;Morgavi, Daniele;GONZALEZ GARCIA, DIEGO;Vetere, Francesco Pasqualino;PERUGINI, Diego
2017-01-01

Abstract

The mixing of magmas is a fundamental process in the Earth system causing extreme compositional variations in igneous rocks. This process can develop with different intensities both in space and time, making the interpretation of compositional patterns in igneous rocks a petrological challenge. As a time-dependent process, magma mixing has been suggested to preserve information about the time elapsed between the injection of a new magma into sub-volcanic magma chambers and eruptions. This allowed the use of magma mixing as an additional volcanological tool to infer the mixing-to-eruption timescales. In spite of the potential of magma mixing processes to provide information about the timing of volcanic eruptions its statistical robustness is not yet established. This represents a prerequisite to apply reliably this conceptual model. Here, new chaotic magma mixing experiments were performed at different times using natural melts. The degree of reproducibility of experimental results was tested repeating one experiment at the same starting conditions and comparing the compositional variability. We further tested the robustness of the statistical analysis by randomly removing from the analysed dataset a progressively increasing number of samples. Results highlight the robustness of the method to derive empirical relationships linking the efficiency of chemical exchanges and mixing time. These empirical relationships remain valid by removing up to 80% of the analytical determinations. Experimental results were applied to constrain the homogenization time of chemical heterogeneities in natural magmatic system during mixing. The calculations show that, when the mixing dynamics generate millimetre thick filaments, homogenization timescales of the order of a few minutes are to be expected.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1415324
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