Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Crystallization of apatite in natural magmas under high pressure, hydrous conditions, with particular reference to ‘Orogenic’ rock series


Two separate series of hydrous experiments involving (1) imposing apatite saturation on a series of igneous rock compositions from basanite to rhyolite, and (2) crystallizing similar natural rock compositions progressively until apatite appears, demonstrate a close dependence between apatite saturation and silica content of the magma, and determine P2O5 levels at a given silica value and temperature at which that composition may be expected to crystallize apatite. The effect of pressure on apatite solubility is not great, and is most significant for silicic compositions.

P2O5 vs SiO2 relationships of the low-K island arc suite, calcalkaline suite and high-K calc-alkaline suite, appear regular and characteristic for each suite, and when linked with the experimental work on apatite solubility, indicate the following: (1) the low-K and calc-alkaline series have low P2O5 contents (∼0.1–0.2 wt.%) and relatively flat P2O5-SiO2 patterns; they do not show evidence of reaching apatite saturation until rhyodacite-rhyolite compositions are obtained for the low-K suite, and andesite-dacite compositions for the calc-alkaline suite; (2) the high-K calc-alkaline series has higher P2O5 contents (∼0.4–0.6 wt.%) in mafic compositions, and achieves apatite saturation over a wide compositional range for the series; (3) the calc-alkaline and high-K calc-alkaline series are probably lower temperature, and more hydrous than the low-K series; (4) anomalous P2O5-SiO2 distributions may indicate non-equilibrium crystallization of apatite, magma-mixing and crystal accumulation processes active in generation of the ‘orogenic’ volcanic series.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Anderson AT (1976) Magma mixing: petrological process and volcanological tool. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 1:3–33

  2. Anderson AT, Gottfried D (1971) Contrasting behaviour of P, Ti, Nb in a differentiated high-alumina olivine tholeiite and a calcalkaline andesitic suite. Geol Soc Am Bull 82:1929–1942

  3. Beswick AE, Carmichael ISE (1978) Constraints on mantle source compositions imposed by phosphorus and the rare-earth elements. Contrib Mineral Petrol 67:317–330

  4. Boyd FR, England JE (1960) Apparatus for phase-equilibria measurements at pressures up to 50 kb and temperatures up to 1,750° C. J Geophys Res 65:741–748

  5. Cameron M, Bagby WC, Cameron KL (1980) Petrogenesis of voluminous mid-Tertiary ignimbrites of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Chihuahua, Mexico. Contrib Mineral Petrol 74:271–284

  6. Doremus RH (1973) Glass Science. J. Wiley and Sons Inc NY, 349 p

  7. Eichelberger JC (1975) Origin of andesite and dacite: evidence of mixing at Glass Mountain in California and at other Circum-Pacific volcanoes. Geol Soc Am Bull 86:1381–1391

  8. Eichelberger JC (1978) Andesites in island arcs and continental margins: relationship to crustal evolution. Bull Volcanol 41:480–500

  9. Ewart AE (1976a) Mineralogy and chemistry of modern orogenic lavas — some statistics and implications. Earth Planet Sci Lett 31:417–432

  10. Ewart AE (1976b) A petrological study of the younger Tongan andesites and dacites, and the olivine tholeiites of Niua Fo'ou Island, SW Pacific. Contrib Mineral Petrol 58:1–21

  11. Ewart AE (1979) A review of the mineralogy and chemistry of the Tertiary-Recent dacitic, latitic, rhyolitic and related salic volcanic rocks. In: Barker F (ed) Trondhjemites, dacites and related rocks. Elsevier New York, pp 13–21

  12. Ewart AE (1981) The mineralogy and petrology of Tertiary-Recent orogenic volcanic rocks: with special reference to the andesiticbasaltic compositional range. In: Thorpe RS (ed) Orogenic andesites and related rocks. John Wiley and Sons Ltd (in press)

  13. Ewart AE, Bryan WB, Gill JB (1973) Mineralogy and geochemistry of the younger volcanic islands of Tonga, SW Pacific: J Petrol 14:429–465

  14. Fenn PM (1977) The nucleation and growth of alkali feldspars from hydrous melts. Can Mineral 15:135–161

  15. Gill JB (1978) Role of trace element partition coefficients in models of andesite genesis. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 42:709–724

  16. Gill JB (1981) Orogenic andesites and plate tectonics. Springer-Verlag Berlin, 399 p

  17. Green TH (1972) Crystallization of calc-alkaline andesite under controlled high-pressure hydrous conditions. Contrib Mineral Petrol 34:150–166

  18. Green TH (1980) Island arc and continent-building magmatism — a review of petrogenic models based on experimental petrology and geochemistry, Tectonophysics 63:367–385

  19. Green TH, Ringwood AE (1972) Crystallization of garnet-bearing rhyodacite under high-pressure hydrous conditions. J Geol Soc Aust 19:203–212

  20. Greene RC (1968) Petrography and petrology of volcanic rocks in the Mount Jefferson area, High Cascade Range, Oregon. US Geol Surv Bull 1251-G:1–48

  21. Hellman PL, Green TH (1979) The role of sphene as an accessory phase in the high-pressure partial melting of hydrous mafic compositions. Earth Planet Sci Lett 42:191–201

  22. Hofmann AW (1980) Diffusion in natural silicate melts: A critical review. In: Hargraves RB (ed) Physics of Magmatic Processes. Princeton University Press, pp 385–410

  23. Ishikawa KI, Kanisawa S, Aoki KI (1980) Content and behaviour of fluorine in Japanese Quaternary volcanic rocks and petrogenetic application. J Volcan Geotherm Res 8:161–175

  24. Kirkpatrick RJ (1981) Kinetics of crystallization of igneous rocks. In: Lasaga AC, Kirkpatrick RJ (eds) Kinetics of Geochemical Processes (vol. 8 of Reviews in Mineralogy). Mineral Soc Am, pp 321–396

  25. Lofgren G (1974) An experimental study of plagioclase crystal morphology: isothermal crystallization. Am J Sci 274:243–273

  26. Lowder GG (1973) Late Cenozoic transitional alkali olivine-tholeiite basalt and andesite from the margin of the Great Basin, Southwest Utah. Geol Soc Am Bull 84:2993–3012

  27. Mysen BO, Virgo D, Scarfe CM (1980a) Relations between the anionic structure and viscosity of silicate melts — a Raman spectroscopic study. Am Mineral 65:690–710

  28. Mysen BO, Virgo D, Harrison WJ, Scarfe CM (1980b) Solubility mechanisms of H2O in silicate melts at high pressures and temperatures: a Raman spectroscopic study. Am Mineral 65:900–914

  29. Ringwood AE (1975) Composition and Petrology of the Earth's Mantle. McGraw-Hill New York, 618 p

  30. Rose WI, Penfield GT, Drexler JW, Larson PB (1980) Geochemistry of the andesite flank lavas of three composite cones within the Atitlan cauldron. Guatemala. Bull Volcanol 43:131–153

  31. Ryerson FJ, Hess PC (1980) The role of P2O5 in silicate melts. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 44:611–624

  32. Sun S-S, Hanson GN (1976) Rare earth element evidence for differentiation of McMurdo Volcanics, Ross Island, Antarctica. Contrib Mineral Petrol 54:139–155

  33. Swanson SE (1977) Relation of nucleation and crystal growth rate to the development of granitic textures. Am Mineral 62:966–978

  34. Tiller WA, Jackson KA, Rutter JW, Chalmers B (1953) The re-distribution of solute atoms during the solidification of metals. Acta Met 1:428–437

  35. Watson EB (1976) Two-liquid partition coefficients: experimental data and geochemical implications. Contrib Mineral Petrol 56:119–134

  36. Watson EB (1979) Apatite saturation in basic to intermediate magmas. Geophys Res Lett 6:937–940

  37. Watson EB (1980) Apatite and phosphorous in mantle source regions: an experimental study of apatite/melt equilibria at pressures to 25 kbar. Earth Planet Sci Lett 51:322–335

  38. Watson EB, Green TH (1981) Apatite/liquid partition coefficients for the rare earth elements and strontium. Earth Planet Sci Lett 56:405–421

  39. Whitford DJ (1975) Geochemistry and petrology of volcanic rocks from the Sunda arc, Indonesia. Unpubl PhD thesis, Aust Nat Univ, 449p

  40. Wise WS (1969) Geology and petrology of the Mt Hood area: a study of High Cascade volcanism. Geol Soc Am Bull 80:969–1006

  41. Woodruff LG, Rose WI, Rigot W (1979) Contrasting fractionation patterns for sequential magmas from two Central American volcanoes. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 6:217–240

  42. Wyllie PJ (1979) Magmas and volatile components. Am Mineral 64:469–500

  43. Zielinski RA, Lipman PW (1976) Trace element variations at Summer Coon volcano, San Juan Mountains, Colorado and the origin of continental-interior andesite. Geol Soc Am Bull 87:1477–1485

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Green, T.H., Watson, E.B. Crystallization of apatite in natural magmas under high pressure, hydrous conditions, with particular reference to ‘Orogenic’ rock series. Contr. Mineral. and Petrol. 79, 96–105 (1982).

Download citation


  • Apatite
  • Rock Composition
  • P2O5 Content
  • Volcanic Series
  • Silicic Composition