Rapid crystallization during recycling of basaltic andesite tephra: Timescales determined by reheating experiments

Nicholas Deardorff*, Katharine Cashman

*Corresponding author for this work

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

8 Citations (Scopus)
332 Downloads (Pure)


Microcrystalline inclusions within microlite-poor matrix are surprisingly common in low intensity eruptions around the world, yet their origin is poorly understood. Inclusions are commonly interpreted as evidence of crystallization along conduit margins. Alternatively, these clasts may be recycled from low level eruptions where they recrystallize by heating within the vent. We conducted a series of experiments heating basaltic andesite lapilli from temperatures below the glass transition (∼690 °C) to above inferred eruption temperatures (>1150 °C) for durations of 2 to >60 minutes. At 690 °C < T < 800 °C, crystallization is evident after heating for ∼20 minutes; at T > 800 °C, crystallization occurs in <5 minutes. At T ≥ 900 °C, all samples recrystallize extensively in 2-10 minutes, with pyroxenes, Fe-oxides, and plagioclase. Experimental crystallization textures closely resemble those observed in natural microcrystalline inclusions. Comparison of inclusion textures in lapilli from the active submarine volcano NW Rota-1, Mariana arc and subaerial volcano Stromboli suggest that characteristic signatures of clast recycling are different in the two environments. Specifically, chlorine assimilation provides key evidence of recycling in submarine samples, while bands of oxides bordering microcrystalline inclusions are unique to subaerial environments. Correct identification of recycling at basaltic vents will improve (lower) estimates of mass eruption rate and help to refine interpretations of eruption dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number46364
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2017


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