Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 73, Issue 9, pp 1245–1257 | Cite as

Strain-induced magma degassing: insights from simple-shear experiments on bubble bearing melts

  • Luca Caricchi
  • Anne Pommier
  • Mattia Pistone
  • Jonathan Castro
  • Alain Burgisser
  • Diego Perugini
Research Article


Experiments have been performed to determine the effect of deformation on degassing of bubble-bearing melts. Cylindrical specimens of phonolitic composition, initial water content of 1.5 wt.% and 2 vol.% bubbles, have been deformed in simple-shear (torsional configuration) in an internally heated Paterson-type pressure vessel at temperatures of 798–848 K, 100–180 MPa confining pressure and different final strains. Micro-structural analyses of the samples before and after deformation have been performed in two and three dimensions using optical microscopy, a nanotomography machine and synchrotron tomography. The water content of the glasses before and after deformation has been measured using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). In samples strained up to a total of γ ∼ 2 the bubbles record accurately the total strain, whereas at higher strains (γ ∼ 10) the bubbles become very flattened and elongate in the direction of shear. The residual water content of the glasses remains constant up to a strain of γ ∼ 2 and then decreases to about 0.2 wt.% at γ ∼ 10. Results show that strain enhances bubble coalescence and degassing even at low bubble volume-fractions. Noticeably, deformation produced a strongly water under-saturated melt. This suggests that degassing may occur at great depths in the volcanic conduit and may force the magma to become super-cooled early during ascent to the Earth’s surface potentially contributing to the genesis of obsidian.


Magma deformation Strain-induced degassing Bubble deformation Obsidian banding 



This project was financed by an INSU grant and the Electrovolc project, which is funded by the French national agency for research (ANR): contract JC05-42707 to Fabrice Gaillard and by the NERC grant (NE/G012946/1) to Luca Caricchi. We are grateful to the local contacts Peter Modregger and Federica Marone at Swiss Light Source to make possible the x-ray tomography experiments and for their help with the 3D reconstructions and data treatment. The scientific discussions with Fabrice Gaillard, Remi Champallier, Alison Rust and the technical support of Philip Teulat were greatly appreciated. The comments of Satoshi Okumura and two anonymous reviewers greatly improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luca Caricchi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anne Pommier
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mattia Pistone
    • 4
  • Jonathan Castro
    • 2
    • 5
  • Alain Burgisser
    • 2
  • Diego Perugini
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers (INSU), Université d’Orléans, Université François Rabelais–ToursInstitut des Sciences de la Terre d’OrléansOrléans cedex 2France
  3. 3.Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary SciencesMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  4. 4.Institute for Geochemistry and PetrologyETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  5. 5.School of GeosciencesMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  6. 6.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly

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