Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 161, Issue 3, pp 497–510 | Cite as

Transcrystalline melt migration in clinopyroxene

  • Yann Sonzogni
  • Ariel ProvostEmail author
  • Pierre Schiano
Original Paper


Glass inclusions in clinopyroxene phenocrysts from La Sommata (Vulcano Island, Aeolian Arc) were reheated and submitted to a sustained thermal gradient. Each remelted inclusion undergoes a transient textural and chemical reequilibration and concomitantly begins to migrate along a crystallographic direction, at a small angle with the thermal gradient. The completion of morphological evolution requires a characteristic time that is governed by chemical diffusion. Chemical reequilibration results in the formation of a colored halo that delineates the former location and shape of the inclusion after it has migrated away. Transcrystalline migration proceeds by dissolution of the host clinopyroxene ahead and precipitation astern. Its rate is not limited by Fick’s law, but by the crystal-melt interface kinetics. Clinopyroxene dissolution and growth are slower than for olivine in similar conditions but obey the same analytical law, which can be transposed to equally or more sluggish melting or crystallization events in nature. When a gas bubble is initially present, it responds to elastic forces by quickly shifting toward the cold end of the inclusion, where it soon becomes engulfed as an isolated fluid inclusion in the reprecipitated crystal. This study confirms that transcrystalline melt migration, beside its possible implications for small-scale melt segregation and fluid-inclusion generation in the Earth’s mantle, provides an experimental access to interfacial kinetic laws in near-equilibrium conditions.


Melt inclusions Transcrystalline migration Crystal growth Crystal dissolution Clinopyroxene 



This study was sponsored by the Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers (program SEDIT 2007) and the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (grant no. ANR-07-BLAN-0130-01). We are grateful to Jérôme Bascou for the EBSD analyses, to Jean-Luc Devidal for his help at the electron microprobe, and to Yang Chen, Leonid Danyushevsky and an anonymous referee for constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire Magmas et VolcansClermont Université, BP 10448, Université Blaise Pascal, CNRS, IRDClermont-Ferrand CedexFrance

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