Bubble formation and decrepitation control the CO2 content of olivine-hosted melt inclusions

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Melt inclusions
Carbon dioxide
Magma chamber
The CO2 contents of olivine-hosted melt inclusions have previously been used to constrain the depth of magma chambers in basaltic systems. However, the vast majority of inclusions have CO2 contents which imply entrapment pressures that are significantly lower than those obtained from independent petrological barometers. Furthermore, a global database of melt inclusion compositions from low inline image settings, indicates that the distribution of saturation pressures varies surprisingly little between mid-ocean ridges, ocean islands, and continental rift zones. 95% of the inclusions in the database have saturation pressures of 200 MPa or less, indicating that melt inclusion CO2 does not generally provide an accurate estimate of magma chamber depths. A model of the P-V-T-X evolution of olivine-hosted melt inclusions was developed so that the properties of the inclusion system could be tracked as the hosts follow a model P-T path. The models indicate that the principal control on the saturation of CO2 in the inclusion and the formation of vapor bubbles is the effect of postentrapment crystallization on the major element composition of the inclusions and how this translates into variation in CO2 solubility. The pressure difference between external melt and the inclusion is likely to be sufficiently high to cause decrepitation of inclusions in most settings. Decrepitation can account for the apparent mismatch between CO2-based barometry and other petrological barometers, and can also account for the observed global distribution of saturation pressures. Only when substantial postentrapment crystallization occurs can reconstructed inclusion compositions provide an accurate estimate of magma chamber depth.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2017. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 18 (2017): 597–616, doi:10.1002/2016GC006633.
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Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 18 (2017): 597–616
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