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Time Scales of Crystal Fractionation in

Magma ChambersIntegrating Physical,


Isotopic and Geochemical Perspectives

JOURNAL OF PETROLOGY

C. J. HAWKESWORTH
S. BLAKE
P.EVANS
R. HUGHES

RECEIVED SEPTEMBER 21, 1999; REVISED TYPESCRIPT ACCEPTED
FEBRUARY 7, 2000

INTRODUCTION
The rate of crystallization in mafic magmas takes
much longer than in more evolved magmas.

A simple heat balance model for an evolving magma
chamber is used to make predictions of the time
scales for magma differentiation,which are compared
with geologic and isotopic constraints on the rates of
crystallization.
PHYSICAL PRINCIPLES OF
COOLING AND CRYSTALLIZATION

Magma crystallizes as a result of cooling and
degassing.
The rates at which thermal energy is lost from
magma chambers maintains geothermal power
outputs of 100 1000 MW.
The maximum amount of cooling can be estimated
equating power output (P) , to the thermal energy
lost from a fixed volume of magma(V) divided by the
cooling time (t
cool
).
P= V(cT + L)/t
cool.


is the magma density .
c is the specific heat capacity.
T is the temperature drop.
L is the latent heat of crystallization.
is the mass fraction of crystals grown at this temparature range.








U series isotopes
Uranium-238 is an emitter, decaying through
the 18-member uranium series into lead-206.
The intermediate isotopes of the chain that
have very short lives relative to their parents
,can be used to date rocks and minerals
formed within the last few hundred years.
Radioactive decay equations
N N D =
0
multiply each side by e
t
substitute N=N
0
-D

t
e N N

=
0
t
e N D N

=
0 0
t
e N N D

=
0 0
) 1 (
0
t
e N D

=
0
N Ne
t
=

D N Ne
t
+ =

substitute N
0
=N-D

N Ne D
t
=

) 1 ( =
t
e N D

N
1

1
N
2

2
N
3
dN
1
dt
=
1
N
1
dN
2
dt
=
1
N
1

2
N
2
dN
3
dt
=
2
N
2
Decay Chain Systematics:
Consider a 3-member decay chain:
Evolution of this system is governed by the coupled equations:
Note that at secular equil,
2
d
0
d
N
t
=
N
2
(t) =

1

2

1
N
1
o
e

1
t
e

2
t
( )
+ N
2
o
e

2
t
234
U Excess

The activity of (
234
U)
excess
decreases with time:

234
234 234 0 t
Ex Ex
U U e

=
And excess
234
U corresponds to the
234
U not supported by
238
U:
234
234 238 234 0 238
( )
t
U U U U e

= +
And dividing through by
238
U activity, we obtain:

234
234 0 238 234
238 238
1
t
A
U U U
e
U U

| | | |
= +
| |
\ . \ .
230
Th Deficiency

So we grow in
230
Th due to decay of
238
U and excess
234
U (in atom number):


( )
234 230
230 234 234
230 234
t t o
Ex Ex
Th U e e

And converting to activity, substituting formula for


234
U
Ex
, dividing by
238
U
A
,
and simplifying, we obtain:
230 234 230
234 0 230
230
238 238
230 234
(1 ) 1 ( )
t t t
A A
U Th
e e e
U U



(
| | | |
= +
(
| |

( \ . \ .


*Or, more realistically, we measure (
230
Th/
238
U) and
234
U/
238
U,
and iteratively find an age that satisfies both the measurements
made today. We then are calculating also
234
U/
238
U initial.
secular
equilibrium
secular
equilibrium
230
Th-
234
U activity growth lines
For most samples:
How can the age of crytallization be
determined ?
Phenocrysts from the rocks are chosen to date
using these isotopes , as they are first fractionated
from the magma.
Conclusions

In principle ,short lived isotopes offer a
powerful way to investigate the ages of the
ages of the crystals .
The time taken for 50% fractional
crystallization in mafics in longer than that
of felsics.

References
Principles of isotope geology by GUNTER
FAURE.
http://www.wise-uranium.org/rup.html.
http://www.ieer.org/fctsheet/uranium.html.
http://www.ead.anl.gov/pub/doc/natural-decay-
series.pdf .
Dickins .
Priciples of igneous and metamorphic petrology by
JOHN .D WINTER


Acknowledgements
Dr. Ravikant .
Dr. Tarun Dalai.
Anwar Qadri Moinuddin.(07MS batch).

presented by
Anvesh . M . Reddy(08MSo29).