Journal article

Short magmatic residence times of quartz phenocrysts in Patagonian rhyolites associated with Gondwana breakup

A key parameter in the study of magma evolution is the time scale on which magmatic processes occur. Using nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS), SIMS, and cathodoluminescence (CL) analyses, we have measured titanium (Ti) diffusion profiles in quartz phenocrysts from a Jurassic rhyolite of the El Quemado Complex (Patagonia, Argentina), providing new insights into the time scales of the associated volcanic processes. CL imaging of quartz phenocrysts reveals oscillatory magmatic zoning. We determined Ti concentrations with SIMS and acquired multiple NanoSIMS profiles across growth zones from core to rim. All transects show sharp changes in the Ti-48/Si-29 ratio, which correlate reasonably well with changes in CL intensity. Diffusion modeling of Ti in quartz yields a surprisingly short time scale for quartz crystallization of 5.6 +/- 2.2 yr and a rapid crystal growth rate of 2.3 x 10(-12) m/s. Based on the observed quartz textures, we suggest that the rhyolite erupted shortly after initial onset of crystallization, followed by decompression-driven quartz dissolution during fast magma ascent. We further argue that the observed oscillatory zoning and the variation of the Ti concentration of the quartz phenocryst does not reflect temperature, pressure, or titanium activity (a(Ti)) changes of the magmatic system, but rather is the result of growth kinetics, which has important implications for the Ti-in-quartz thermometry.


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