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Melt inclusions

March 1, 2014

Melt inclusions are small droplets of silicate melt that are trapped in minerals during their growth in a magma. Once formed, they commonly retain much of their initial composition (with some exceptions) unless they are re-opened at some later stage. Melt inclusions thus offer several key advantages over whole rock samples: (i) they record pristine concentrations of volatiles and metals that are usually lost during magma solidification and degassing, (ii) they are snapshots in time whereas whole rocks are the time-integrated end products, thus allowing a more detailed, time-resolved view into magmatic processes (iii) they are largely unaffected by subsolidus alteration. Due to these characteristics, melt inclusions are an ideal tool to study the evolution of mineralized magma systems. This chapter first discusses general aspects of melt inclusions formation and methods for their investigation, before reviewing studies performed on mineralized magma systems.

Publication Year 2014
Title Melt inclusions
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-08-095975-7.01106-2
Authors Jacob B. Lowenstern
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 70059178
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center