Diffusive fractionation of volatiles and their isotopes during bubble growth in magmas

Diffusive fractionation of volatiles and their isotopes during bubble growth in magmas Bubbles grow in decompressing magmas by simple expansion and by diffusive supply of volatiles to the bubble/melt interface. The latter phenomenon is of significant geochemical interest because diffusion can fractionate elements and isotopes (or isotopologues) of dissolved components. This raises the possibility that the character of volatile components in bubbles may not reflect that of volatiles dissolved in the host melt over the lifetime of a bubble—even in the absence of equilibrium vapor/melt isotopic fractionation. Recent experiments have confirmed the existence of an isotope mass effect on diffusion of the volatile element Cl in silicate melt [Fortin et al. (Isotopic fractionation of chlorine during chemical diffusion in a dacitic melt and its implications for isotope behavior during bubble growth (abstract), 2016 Fall AGU Meeting, 2016)], so there is a clear need to understand the efficacy of diffusive fractionation during bubble growth. In this study, numerical models of diffusion and mass redistribution during bubble growth were implemented for both “passive” volatiles—those whose concentrations are generally well below saturation levels—and “active” volatiles such as CO2 and H2O, whose elevated concentrations and limited solubilities are the cause of bubble nucleation and growth. Both diffusive and convective bubble-growth scenarios were explored. The magnitude of the isotope mass effect on passive volatiles partitioned into bubbles growing at a constant rate R in a static system depends upon R/D L, K d and D H/D L (K d = bubble/melt partition coefficient; D H/D L = diffusivity ratio of the heavy and light isotopes). During convective bubble growth, the presence of a discrete (physical) melt boundary layer against the growing bubble (of width x BL) simplifies outcomes because it leads to the quick onset of steady-state fractionation during growth, the magnitude of which depends mainly upon R∙x BL/D L and D H/D L (bubble/melt fractionation is maximized at R∙x BL/D L ≈0.1). Constant R is unrealistic for most real systems, so other scenarios were explored by including the solubility and EOS of an “active” volatile (e.g., CO2) in the numerical simulations. For plausible decompression paths, R increases exponentially with time—leading, potentially, to larger isotopic fractionation of species partitioned into the growing bubble. For volatile species whose isotope mass effects on diffusion have been measured (Cl, Li), predicted isotope fractionation in the exsolved vapor can be as large as −4‰ for Cl and −25‰ for Li. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology Springer Journals

Diffusive fractionation of volatiles and their isotopes during bubble growth in magmas

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Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by The Author(s)
Subject
Earth Sciences; Geology; Mineral Resources; Mineralogy
ISSN
0010-7999
eISSN
1432-0967
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00410-017-1384-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Bubbles grow in decompressing magmas by simple expansion and by diffusive supply of volatiles to the bubble/melt interface. The latter phenomenon is of significant geochemical interest because diffusion can fractionate elements and isotopes (or isotopologues) of dissolved components. This raises the possibility that the character of volatile components in bubbles may not reflect that of volatiles dissolved in the host melt over the lifetime of a bubble—even in the absence of equilibrium vapor/melt isotopic fractionation. Recent experiments have confirmed the existence of an isotope mass effect on diffusion of the volatile element Cl in silicate melt [Fortin et al. (Isotopic fractionation of chlorine during chemical diffusion in a dacitic melt and its implications for isotope behavior during bubble growth (abstract), 2016 Fall AGU Meeting, 2016)], so there is a clear need to understand the efficacy of diffusive fractionation during bubble growth. In this study, numerical models of diffusion and mass redistribution during bubble growth were implemented for both “passive” volatiles—those whose concentrations are generally well below saturation levels—and “active” volatiles such as CO2 and H2O, whose elevated concentrations and limited solubilities are the cause of bubble nucleation and growth. Both diffusive and convective bubble-growth scenarios were explored. The magnitude of the isotope mass effect on passive volatiles partitioned into bubbles growing at a constant rate R in a static system depends upon R/D L, K d and D H/D L (K d = bubble/melt partition coefficient; D H/D L = diffusivity ratio of the heavy and light isotopes). During convective bubble growth, the presence of a discrete (physical) melt boundary layer against the growing bubble (of width x BL) simplifies outcomes because it leads to the quick onset of steady-state fractionation during growth, the magnitude of which depends mainly upon R∙x BL/D L and D H/D L (bubble/melt fractionation is maximized at R∙x BL/D L ≈0.1). Constant R is unrealistic for most real systems, so other scenarios were explored by including the solubility and EOS of an “active” volatile (e.g., CO2) in the numerical simulations. For plausible decompression paths, R increases exponentially with time—leading, potentially, to larger isotopic fractionation of species partitioned into the growing bubble. For volatile species whose isotope mass effects on diffusion have been measured (Cl, Li), predicted isotope fractionation in the exsolved vapor can be as large as −4‰ for Cl and −25‰ for Li.

Journal

Contributions to Mineralogy and PetrologySpringer Journals

Published: Jul 7, 2017

References

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