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Controlled cooling-rate experiments on olivine-hosted melt inclusions: chemical diffusion and quantification of eruptive cooling‐rates on Hawaii and Mars

Saper, Lee M. and Stolper, Edward M. (2020) Controlled cooling-rate experiments on olivine-hosted melt inclusions: chemical diffusion and quantification of eruptive cooling‐rates on Hawaii and Mars. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 21 (2). Art. No. e2019GC008772. ISSN 1525-2027. doi:10.1029/2019gc008772.

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Controlled cooling‐rate experiments were conducted on olivine‐hosted melt inclusions to characterize the development of compositional zoning observed in natural inclusions. All of the experimentally cooled inclusions are zoned due to olivine crystallization on the inclusion wall and diffusive exchange between the boundary layer adjacent to the growing olivine and the inclusion centers. Experimentally cooled inclusions are characterized by lower MgO and FeO and higher SiO₂, Al₂O₃, and Na₂O (and other incompatible oxides) near the inclusion wall relative to the inclusion center. The compositions at the centers of inclusions are susceptible to modification by diffusion, particularly for small inclusions and those subjected to low cooling rates. Uphill diffusion is evident in every oxide and is recognized by local extrema along a diffusion profile. CaO exhibits the most extreme manifestation of uphill diffusion, and a model attributes the diffusion behavior in CaO to solution nonideality in the boundary layer liquid. MgO profiles from experimentally cooled inclusions were fit with a diffusion model by varying the cooling rate. The cooling rates that resulted in the best fit models were always within a factor of 2 and typically within ±10% of the experimental cooling rates, which ranged from 70 to 50,000 °C/hr. The model was applied to MgO profiles across natural glassy olivine‐hosted melt inclusions from Hawaii and the shergottite Yamato 980459. Cooling rates from zoned melt inclusions in Yamato 980459 range from 85 to 1,047 °C/hr (mean = 383±43 °C/hr, 1σ, n=8) and support the hypothesis that the sample erupted at or near the Martian surface.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Saper, Lee M.0000-0002-3995-9986
Stolper, Edward M.0000-0001-8008-8804
Alternate Title:Electron microprobe traverses across melt inclusions and their host olivines: homogenization and controlled cooling rate experiments, and unheated samples from Hawaii and Mars
Additional Information:© 2020 American Geophysical Union. Received 18 OCT 2019; Accepted 27 DEC 2019; Accepted article online 7 JAN 2020. Additional information and figures can be found in the supporting information. Data tables containing melt inclusion and olivine microprobe analyses can be accessed at the EarthChem Portal (, doi: We would like to thank Megan Newcombe for providing guidance on the Matlab code from Newcombe et al. (2014) and for details on useful protocols for sample preparation. We would also like to thank Mike B. Baker for providing thoughtful discussion and guidance on the experimental procedures, without which the project would have not had been successful. Lastly, we would like to thank Mary Peterson and Maryjo Brounce for assistance with XANES analysis. This material is based on work supported by the Leon T. Silver Graduate Fellowship and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. DGE‐1745301 awarded to Lee Saper.
Group:Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Caltech Leon T. Silver Graduate FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipDGE‐1745301
Subject Keywords:melt inclusions; cooling rates; chemical diffusion; experiments; Mars; Hawaii
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200108-132114698
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Saper, L. M., & Stolper, E. M. (2020). Controlled cooling‐rate experiments on olivine‐hosted melt inclusions: Chemical diffusion and quantification of eruptive cooling rates on Hawaii and Mars. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 21, e2019GC008772.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100560
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Jan 2020 22:17
Last Modified:01 Jun 2023 22:46

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