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Published April 2014 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Zonation of H_(2)O and F Concentrations around Melt Inclusions in Olivines


Studies of both naturally quenched and experimentally reheated melt inclusions have established that they can lose or gain H_(2)O after entrapment in their host mineral, before or during eruption. Here we report nanoSIMS analyses of H2O, Cl and F in olivine around melt inclusions from two natural basaltic samples: one from the Sommata cinder cone on Vulcano Island in the Aeolian arc and the other from the Jorullo cinder cone in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Our results constrain olivine/basaltic melt partition coefficients and allow assessment of mechanisms of volatile loss from melt inclusions in natural samples. Cl contents in olivine from both samples are mostly below detection limits (≤0·03 ± 0·01 ppm), with no detectable variation close to the melt inclusions. Assuming a maximum Cl content of 0·03 ppm for all olivines, maximum estimates for Cl partition coefficients between olivine and glass are 0·00002 ± 0·00002. Olivines from the two localities display contrasting H_(2)O and F compositions: Sommata olivines contain 27 ± 11 ppm H_(2)O and 0·28 ± 0·07 ppm F, whereas Jorullo olivines have lower and proportionately more variable H_(2)O and F (11 ± 12 ppm and 0·12 ± 0·09 ppm, respectively; uncertainties are two standard deviations for the entire population). The variations of H_(2)O and F contents in the olivines exhibit clear zonation patterns, increasing with proximity to melt inclusions. This pattern was most probably generated during transfer of volatiles out of the inclusions through the host olivine. H_(2)O concentration gradients surrounding melt inclusions are roughly concentric, but significantly elongated parallel to the crystallographic a-axis of olivine. Because of this preferential crystallographic orientation, this pattern is consistent with H_(2)O loss that is rate-limited by the 'proton–polaron' mechanism of H diffusion in olivine. Partition coefficients based on olivine compositions immediately adjacent to melt inclusions are 0·0007 ± 0·0003 for H_(2)O and 0·0005 ± 0·0003 for F. The H_(2)O and F diffusion profiles most probably formed in response to a decrease in the respective fugacities in the external melt, owing to either degassing or mixing with volatile-poor melt. Volatile transport out of inclusions might also have been driven in part by increases in the fugacity within the inclusion owing to post-entrapment crystallization. In the case of F, because of the lack of data on F diffusion in olivine, any interpretation of the measured F gradients is speculative. In the case of H_(2)O, we model the concentration gradients using a numerical model of three-dimensional anisotropic diffusion of H, where initial conditions include both H2O decrease in the external melt and post-entrapment enrichment of H_(2)O in the inclusions. The model confirms that external degassing is the dominant driving force, showing that the orientation of the anisotropy in H diffusion is consistent with the proton–polaron diffusion mechanism in olivine. The model also yields an estimate of the initial H_(2)O content of the Sommata melt inclusions before diffusive loss of 6 wt % H_(2)O. The findings provide new insights on rapid H_(2)O loss during magma ascent and improve our ability to assess the fidelity of the H_(2)O record from melt inclusions.

Additional Information

© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. Received April 27, 2013; Accepted January 6, 2014. We thank Chi Ma for help with the electron microprobe and EBSD analyses. Reviews by T. J. Tenner, A. E. Saal, J. D. Webster and Editor W. A. Bohrson helped to improve the paper and were gratefully appreciated. This work was supported by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to the Caltech Microanalysis Center.

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