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Water-saturated and undersaturated melting relations of a granite to 35 kilobars

Stern, C. R. and Wyllie, P. J. (1973) Water-saturated and undersaturated melting relations of a granite to 35 kilobars. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 18 (1). pp. 163-167. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/0012-821X(73)90052-6.

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Biotite granite from the Sierra Nevada batholith was reacted, with known water contents in sealed platinum capsules, in a piston-cylinder apparatus between 10 and 35 kb. With the liquid just over-saturated with respect to water, temperatures for solidus and liquidus (quartz/coesite-out curve), respectively, are: 2 kb, 680°C, 715°C; 10 kb, 620°C, 725°C; 25 kb, 655°C, 800°C; 35 kb, 700°C, 850°C. The temperature interval is 35°C at 2 kb, 105°C at 10 kb, and 150°C at 35 kb, indicating that granite departs from a eutectic composition at depths greater than about 40–50 km. We conclude that crystal-liquid equilibria are not likely to yield primary rhyolite or granite magmas by partial fusion of oceanic crust in subduction zones. The solubility of water in granite liquids, in wt%, is 22.5 ± 2.5 at 25 kb and 810°C and 27 ± 2.5 at 35 kb and 850°C. These results indicate that a miscibility gap persists between water-saturated silicate magmas and aqueous vapor phase at least to pressures corresponding to 100 km depth in the mantle. The formation of kyanite near the liquidus of water over-saturated granite indicates that the aqueous vapor phase is enriched in alkalis and possibly silica, relative to the condensed phases.

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Additional Information:© 1973 Elsevier B.V. Received 13 December 1972. We thank the National Science Foundation for Grant GA-29426 and the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Grant DAHC-15-67-C-0220, which supported this research, P.C. Bateman and F.C. Dodge for supplying the granite, and A. Irving for a critical review of the manuscript.
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Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA)DAHC-15-67-C-0220
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Official Citation:C.R. Stern, P.J. Wyllie, Water-saturated and undersaturated melting relations of a granite to 35 kilobars, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 18, Issue 1, 1973, Pages 163-167, ISSN 0012-821X, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:63902
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:22 Jan 2016 22:20
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:23

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