Crustal magmatic systems from the perspective of heat transfer

Jon D. Blundy, Catherine J. Annen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
477 Downloads (Pure)


Crustal magmatic systems are giant heat engines, fed from below by pulses of hot magma, and depleted by loss of heat to their surroundings via conduction or convection. Heat loss drives crystallization and degassing, which change the physical state of the system from relatively low-viscosity, eruptible melt, to high-viscosity, immobile, partially molten rock. We explore the temporal evolution of incrementally grown magmatic systems using numerical models of heat transfer. We show that their physical characteristics depend on magma emplacement rates and that the majority of a magma system's lifetime is spent in a highly crystalline state. We speculate about what we can, and cannot, learn about magmatic systems from their volcanic output.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Early online date25 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Eruption
  • Granite
  • Intrusion
  • Magma
  • Zircon

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