Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 166, Issue 4, pp 1011–1027 | Cite as

Crystallization kinetics of alkali feldspars in cooling and decompression-induced crystallization experiments in trachytic melt

Original Paper


Cooling and decompression experiments have been carried out on trachytic melts in order to investigate crystallization kinetics of alkali feldspar, the effect of the degree of undercooling (ΔT = T liquidus − T experimental) and time on nucleation and crystal growth process. This experimental work gives us new data about crystallization kinetics of trachytic melts, and it that will be useful to better understand the natural system of Campi Flegrei volcanoes. Experiments have been conducted using cold seal pressure vessel apparatus, at pressure between 30 and 200 MPa, temperature between 750 and 855 °C, time between 7,200 and 57,600 s and redox condition close to the NNO +0.8 buffer. These conditions are ideal to reproducing pre- and syn-eruptive conditions of the Campi Flegrei volcanoes, where the “conditions” pertain to the complete range of pressures, temperatures and time at which the experiments were performed. Alkali feldspar is the main phase present in this trachyte, and its abundance can strongly vary with small changes in pressure, temperature and water content in the melt, implying appreciable variations in the textures and in the crystallization kinetics. The obtained results show that crystallization kinetics are strictly related to ΔT, time, final pressure, superheating (−ΔT) and water content in the melt. ΔT is the driving force of the crystallization, and it has a strong influence on nucleation and growth processes. In fact, the growth process dominates crystallization at small ΔT, whereas the nucleation dominates crystallization at large ΔT. Time also is an important variable during crystallization process, because long experiment durations involve more nucleation events of alkali feldspar than short experiment durations. This is an important aspect to understand magma evolution in the magma chamber and in the conduit, which in turn has strong effects on magma rheology.


Crystallization kinetics Alkali feldspars Trachytic melts Cooling experiments Decompression experiments 



We would like to thank Dr. M. Piochi (Osservatorio Vesuviano—INGV, Napoli), who was always available with her valuable knowledge to collaborate in this project. We would like to thank Dr. P. Scarlato, Dr. C. Freda and Dr. A. Cavallo for assistance with the SEM at INGV, Rome. We would like to thank Prof. Dr. M. W. Schmidt for allowing us to use the SEM at ETH of Zurich (Institute of Geochemistry and Petrology). We also wish to thank Prof. Dr. P. Ulmer, Dr. E. Reusser, Dr. M. Pistone, Dr. L.Martin, Dr. D. Mantegazzi and Dr. R. Nandedkar for their availability and for helpful suggestions during the period spent in Zurich. We thank Dr. C. Agostini, Dr. M. R. Cicconi, Prof. Dr. B. Cameron for useful suggestions and Dr. P. Landi for assistance with the SEM at INGV of Pisa. We are grateful to Dr. J. Hammer and anonymous reviewer for their useful comments that improved the quality of the manuscript. Funding provided by PRIN 2009 to M. R. Carroll.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 76 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (PDF 90 kb)
410_2013_906_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (13.7 mb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 14031 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geology Division, School of Sciences and TechnologyUniversity of CamerinoCamerinoItaly
  2. 2.SYRMEP GroupElettra-Sincrotrone Trieste S.C.p.A.BasovizzaItaly

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