Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

American Mineralogist

Journal of Earth and Planetary Materials

Ed. by Baker, Don / Xu, Hongwu / Swainson, Ian

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 2.631

CiteScore 2018: 2.55

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 1.355
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.103

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 102, Issue 10


A new hydrothermal moissanite cell apparatus for optical in-situ observations at high pressure and high temperature, with applications to bubble nucleation in silicate melts

Matteo Masotta / Hans Keppler
Published Online: 2017-10-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2017-6093


We present a new hydrothermal moissanite cell for in situ experiments at pressures up to 1000 bar and temperature to 850 °C. The original moissanite cell presented by Schiavi et al. (2010) was redesigned to allow precise control of fluid pressure. The new device consists of a cylindrical sample chamber drilled into a bulk piece of NIMONIC 105 super alloy, which is connected through a capillary to an external pressure control system. Sealing is provided by two gold gasket rings between the moissanite windows and the sample chamber. The new technique allows the direct observation of various phenomena, such as bubble nucleation, bubble growth, crystal growth, and crystal dissolution in silicate melts, at accurately controlled rates of heating, cooling, and compression or decompression.

Several pilot experiments on bubble nucleation and growth at temperature of 715 °C and under variable pressure regimes (pressure oscillations between 500 and 1000 bar and decompression from 800 to 200 bar at variable decompression rates) were conducted using a haplogranitic glass as starting material. Bubble nucleation occurs in a short single event upon heating of the melt above the glass transition temperature and upon decompression, but only during the first 100 bar of decompression. New bubbles nucleate only at a distance from existing bubbles larger than the mean diffusive path of water in the melt. Bubbles expand and shrink instantaneously in response to any pressure change. The bubble-bubble contact induced during pressure cycling and decompression does not favor bubble coalescence, which is never observed at contact times shorter than 60 s. However, repeated pressure changes favor the diffusive coarsening of larger bubbles at the expense of the smaller ones (Ostwald ripening). Experiments with the haplogranite show that, under the most favorable conditions of volatile supersaturation (as imposed by the experiment), highly viscous melts are likely to maintain the packing of bubbles for longer time before fragmentation. In-situ observations with the new hydrothermal moissanite cell allow to carefully assess the conditions of bubble nucleation, eliminating the uncertainty given by the post mortem observation of samples run using conventional experimental techniques.

Keywords: Moissanite cell; in-situ observation; bubble nucleation; bubble coalescence; degassing; decompression; Ostwald ripening

References cited

  • Alidibirov, M., and Dingwell, D.B. (1996) Magma fragmentation by rapid decompression. Nature, 380, 146–148.Google Scholar

  • Bagdassarov, N., Dorfman, A., and Dingwell, D.B. (2000) Effect of alkalis, phosphorus, and water on the surface tension of haplogranite melt. American Mineralogist, 85, 33–40.Google Scholar

  • Bouvet de Maisonneuve, C., Bachmann, O., and Burgisser, A. (2009) Characterization of juvenile pyroclasts from the Kos Plateau Tuff (Aegean Arc): insights into the eruptive dynamics of a large rhyolitic eruption. Bulletin of Volcanology, 71, 643–658.Google Scholar

  • Chen, M.K., and Voorhees, P.W. (1993) The dynamics of transient Ostwald ripening. Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering, 1(5), 591–612.Google Scholar

  • Del Bello, E., Llewellin, E.W., Taddeucci, J., Scarlato, P., and Lane, S.J. (2012) An analytical model for gas overpressure in slug-driven explosions: Insights into Strombolian volcanic eruptions. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 117, B02206.Google Scholar

  • Fiege, A., and Cichy, S.B. (2015) Experimental constraints on bubble formation and growth during magma ascent: A review. American Mineralogist, 100, 2426–2442.Google Scholar

  • Gardner, J.E. (2007) Heterogeneous bubble nucleation in highly viscous silicate melts during instantaneous decompression from high pressure. Chemical Geology, 236, 1–12.Google Scholar

  • Gardner, J.E., and Ketcham, R.A. (2011) Bubble nucleation in rhyolite and dacite melts: temperature dependence of surface tension. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 162, 929–943.Google Scholar

  • Gardner, J.E., Hilton, M., and Carroll, M.R. (1999) Experimental constraints on degassing of magma: isothermal bubble growth during continuous decompression from high pressure. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 168, 201–218.Google Scholar

  • Gondé, C., Massare, D., Bureau, H., Martel, C., Pichavant, M., and Clocchiatti, R. (2006) In situ study of magmatic processes: a new experimental approach. High Pressure Research, 26, 243–250.Google Scholar

  • Gondé, C., Martel, C., Pichavant, M., and Bureau, H. (2011) In situ bubble vesiculation in silicic magmas. American Mineralogist, 96, 111–124.Google Scholar

  • Hess, K-U., and Dingwell, D.B. (1996) Viscosities of hydrous leucogranitic melts: A non-Arrhenian model. American Mineralogist, 81, 1297–1300.Google Scholar

  • Holtz, F., Behrens, H., Dingwell, D.B., and Johannes, W. (1995) Water solubility in haplogranitic melts. Compositional, pressure and temperature dependence. American Mineralogist, 80, 94–108.Google Scholar

  • Huppert, H.E., and Woods, A.W. (2002) The role of volatiles in magma chamber dynamics. Nature, 420, 493–495.Google Scholar

  • Hurwitz, S., and Navon, O. (1994) Bubble nucleation in rhyolitic melts: experiments at high pressure, temperature, and water content. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 122, 267–280.Google Scholar

  • James, M.R., Lane, S.J., and Chouet, B. (2004) Pressure changes associated with the ascent and bursting of gas slugs in liquid-filled vertical and inclined conduits. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 129, 61–82.Google Scholar

  • Koyaguchi, T., Scheu, B., Mitani, N.K., and Melnik, O. (2008) A fragmentation criterion for highly viscous bubbly magmas estimated from shock tube experiments. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 178, 58–71.Google Scholar

  • Lautze, N., Sisson, T., Mangan, M., and Grove, T. (2011) Segregating gas from melt: an experimental study of the Ostwald ripening of vapor bubbles in magmas. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 161, 331–347.Google Scholar

  • Lensky, N.G., Navon, O., and Lyakhovsky, V. (2004) Bubble growth during decompression of magma: Experimental and theoretical investigation. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 129, 7–22.Google Scholar

  • Lyakhovsky, V., Hurwitz, S., and Navon, O. (1996) Bubble growth in rhyolitic melts: experimental and numerical investigation. Bulletin of Volcanology, 58, 19–32.Google Scholar

  • Mader, H.M., Zhang, Y., Phillips, J.C., Sparks, R.S.J., Sturtevant, B., and Stolper, E. (1994) Experimental simulations of explosive degassing of magma. Nature, 372, 85–88.Google Scholar

  • Mangan, M., and Sisson, T. (2000) Delayed, disequilibrium degassing in rhyolite magma: decompression experiments and implications for explosive volcanism. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 183, 441–455.Google Scholar

  • Martel, C., and Bureau, H. (2001) In situ high-pressure and high-temperature bubble growth in silicic melts. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 191, 115–127.Google Scholar

  • Martel, C., Dingwell, D.B., Spieler, O., Pichavant, M., and Wilke, M. (2000) Fragmentation of foamed silicic melts: an experimental study. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 178, 47–58.Google Scholar

  • Masotta, M., and Keppler, H. (2015) Anhydrite solubility in differentiated arc magmas. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 158, 79–102.Google Scholar

  • Masotta, M., Ni, H., and Keppler, H. (2014) In situ observations of bubble growth in basaltic, andesitic and rhyodacitic melts. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 167, 967.Google Scholar

  • Miwa, T., and Geshi, N. (2012) Decompression rate of magma at fragmentation: Inference from broken crystals in pumice of vulcanian eruption. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 227, 76–84.Google Scholar

  • Mourtada-Bonnefoi, C.C., and Laporte, D. (1999) Experimental study of homogeneous bubble nucleation in rhyolitic magmas. Geophysical Research Letters, 26, 3505–3508.Google Scholar

  • Mourtada-Bonnefoi, C.C., and Laporte, D. (2002) Homogeneous bubble nucleation in rhyolitic magmas: an experimental study of the effect of H2O and CO2. Journal of Geophysical Research, 107, B4, .CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Mourtada-Bonnefoi, C.C., and Laporte, D. (2004) Kinetics of bubble nucleation in a rhyolitic melt: an experimental study of the effect of ascent rate. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 218, 521–537.Google Scholar

  • Mungall, J.E., Bagdassarov, N.S., Romano, C., and Dingwell, D.B. (1996) Numerical modelling of stress generation and microfracturing of vesicle walls in glassy rocks. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 73, 33–46.Google Scholar

  • Ni, H., Keppler, H., Walte, N., Schiavi, F., Chen, Y., Masotta, M., and Li, Z. (2014) In situ observation of crystal growth in a basalt melt and the development of crystal size distribution in igneous rocks. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 167, 1–13.Google Scholar

  • Nowak, M., and Behrens, H. (1997) An experimental investigation on diffusion of water in haplogranitic melts. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 126, 365–376.Google Scholar

  • Preuss, O., Marxer, H., Ulmer, S., Wolf, J., and Nowak, M. (2016) Degassing of hydrous trachytic Campi Flegrei and phonolitic Vesuvius melts: Experimental limitations and chances to study homogeneous bubble nucleation. American Mineralogist, 101, 859–875.Google Scholar

  • Richard, D., Scheu, B., Mueller, S.P., Spieler, O., and Dingwell, D.B. (2013) Outgassing: Influence on speed of magma fragmentation. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 118, 862–877.Google Scholar

  • Ryan, A.G., Russell, J.K., Hess, K.-U., Phillion, A.B., and Dingwell, D.B. (2015) Vesiculation in rhyolite at low H2O contents: A thermodynamic model. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 16, 4292–4310.Google Scholar

  • Scheu, B., Spieler, O., and Dingwell, D.B. (2006) Dynamics of explosive volcanism at Unzen volcano: an experimental contribution. Bulletin of Volcanology, 69, 175–187.Google Scholar

  • Schiavi, F., Walte, N., Konschak, A., and Keppler, H. (2010) A moissanite cell apparatus for optical in situ observation of crystallizing melts at high temperature. American Mineralogist, 95, 1069–1079.Google Scholar

  • Sparks, R.S.J., Barclay, J., Jaupart, C., Mader, H.M., and Phillips, J.C. (1994) Physical Aspects of Magma Degassing I. Experimental and theoretical constraints on vesiculation. Reviews in Mineralogy, 30, 413–445.Google Scholar

  • Toramaru, A. (2006) BND (bubble number density) decompression rate meter for explosive volcanic eruptions. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 154, 303–316.Google Scholar

  • Withers, A.C., and Behrens, H. (1999) Temperature-induced changes in the NIR spectra of hydrous albitic and rhyolitic glasses between 300 and 100 K. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 27, 119–132.Google Scholar

  • Yamada, K., Emori, H., and Nakazawa, K. (2008) Time-evolution of bubble formation in a viscous liquid. Earth Planets Space, 60(6), 661–679.Google Scholar

  • Zhang, Y. (1999) A criterion for the fragmentation of bubbly magma based on brittle failure theory. Nature, 402, 648–650.Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2017-01-31

Accepted: 2017-06-23

Published Online: 2017-10-02

Published in Print: 2017-10-26

Citation Information: American Mineralogist, Volume 102, Issue 10, Pages 2022–2031, ISSN (Online) 1945-3027, ISSN (Print) 0003-004X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2017-6093.

Export Citation

© 2017 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in