Mixing between chemically variable primitive basalts creates and modifies crystal cargoes

David Neave, Philipp Beckmann, Harald Behrens, François Holtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Basaltic crystal cargoes often preserve records of mantle-derived chemical variability that have been erased from their carrier liquids by magma mixing. However, the consequences of mixing between similarly primitive but otherwise chemically variable magmas remain poorly understood despite ubiquitous evidence of chemical variability in primary melt compositions and mixing-induced disequilibrium within erupted crystal cargoes. Here we report observations from magma-magma reaction experiments performed on analogues of primitive Icelandic lavas derived from distinct mantle sources to determine how their crystal cargoes respond to mixing-induced chemical disequilibrium. Chemical variability in our experimental products is controlled dominantly by major element diffusion in the melt that alters phase equilibria and triggers plagioclase resorption within regions that were initially plagioclase saturated. Isothermal mixing between chemically variable basaltic magmas may therefore play important but previously underappreciated roles in creating and modifying crystal cargoes by unlocking plagioclase-rich mushes and driving resorption, (re-)crystallisation and solid-state diffusion.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5495
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2021


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