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Authors: Bai, L.* 
Baker, D. R.* 
Rivers, M.* 
Title: Experimental study of bubble growth in Stromboli basalt melts at 1 atm
Issue Date: 30-Mar-2008
Series/Report no.: 3-4/267(2008)
DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2007.11.063
Keywords: basalt
bubble size distribution
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.02. Experimental volcanism 
Abstract: Volcanic eruptions are characterized by intense degassing, thus it is imperative to have high quality laboratory data to constrain degassing mechanisms. In order to investigate bubble formation and growth at 1 atm, degassing experiments using a Stromboli basalt were performed on the GSECARS X-ray beamline at the Advanced Photon Source. Volatile-bearing glasses were synthesized at 1250 °C and 1000 MPa in a piston cylinder with H2O or mixtures of H2O+CO2; they were then heated in-situ on the X-ray beamline at 1 atm. Bubble growth was observed in-situ using X-ray radiography. The 3D bubble size distributions in the quenched samples and a natural Stromboli pumice were studied by synchrotron X-ray microtomography. The results show that bubble nucleation and growth in basaltic melts are volatile-concentration dependent. Bubbles can easily form in melts initially containing high volatile concentrations. The effect of CO2 on bubble nucleation and growth becomes significant at large CO2 concentrations of 880 to 1480 ppm, but is not important at lower concentrations. Multiple nucleation events occur in most of these degassing experiments, and they are more pronounced in more supersaturated melts. Bubble growth is controlled by viscosity near glass transition temperatures and by diffusion at higher temperatures. Bubbles begin to pop 10 to 20 s after a foam is developed at vesicularities of 65% to 83%. Bubble size distributions follow power–law relations at vesicularities of 1% to 65%, and bubble size distributions evolve from power–law relations to exponential relations at vesicularities of 65% to 83%. This evolution is associated with the change from far-from-equilibrium degassing to near-equilibrium degassing. During far-from-equilibrium degassing, multiple nucleation events are pronounced, and possibly account for the generation of power–law relations. When the system reaches near-equilibrium degassing, coalescence is dominant and leads to the formation of bubbles of similar size. Therefore, bubble size distributions are described by exponential relations.
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