Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 352–362 | Cite as

Interaction of granitic and basic magmas: experimental observations on contamination processes at 10 kbar with H2O

  • A. Dana Johnston
  • Peter J. Wyllie


Experiments designed to simulate the interaction of juxtaposed rhyolitic and basic magmas were conducted at 10 kbar with H2O, using reaction-couples consisting of Westerly granite (WG) against basalt (DW-1) and WG against a synthetic mafic glass (SMG, enriched in MgO and Na2O relative to DW-1). Each couple was run with ∼5 and ∼10 wt% H2O corresponding respectively to H2O-undersaturated and H2O-oversaturated conditions. Experiments were run for 42–44 h at 920° C, above the liquidus of WG and within the melting intervals of DW-1 and SMG. WG was run above the basic material in all but one experiment. The composition of the granitic melt was altered only through material exchange with the adjacent basic melts, whereas that of the basic melts also changed (relative to the bulk basic composition) due to partial crystallization. Some crystallization also occurred within the zone of interaction. For control, the basic compositions were also run alone under the same conditions as the reaction-couple experiments. The crystalline phase assemblages in the basic ends of the coupled experiments differed from those produced from the basic materials alone, demonstrating interaction with the granite melt. Moreover, compositional gradients within the basic ends of coupled experiments are indicated by changes in phase assemblage and compositions with distance from the interface with WG. Microprobe analyses of glass collected along the length of the capsules confirm published observations that alkali diffusion is very fast: K2O and Na2O homogenized throughout the capsules in less than the two-day run times. This, coupled with the fact that introduction of K2O into SMG stabilized biotite, produced the result that after interaction the bulk basic material (melt+crystals) contained more K2O than the coexisting felsic melt. Only very gentle gradients for CaO, FeO, and MgO are preserved in our experiments, in contrast with published anhydrous results, suggesting that the difference in activity coefficients for these components between basic and felsic melts is reduced by the introduction of H2O. Gradients for SiO2 and Al2O3 are of comparable length to those of the divalent cations, confirming earlier results that the diffusivities of the network-formers limit the rate of diffusion of Ca, Fe, and Mg.


Basic Material Activity Coefficient Na2O Basic Composition Material Exchange 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Dana Johnston
    • 1
  • Peter J. Wyllie
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Geological and Planetary SciencesCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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