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Methods ARTICLE

Front. Earth Sci. | doi: 10.3389/feart.2020.00287

Quantifying microstructural evolution in moving magma Provisionally accepted The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon. Notify me

  • 1Earth Sciences, Durham University, United Kingdom
  • 2Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom

Many of the grand challenges in volcanic and magmatic research are focused on understanding the dynamics of highly heterogeneous systems, and the critical conditions which enable magmas to move, or eruptions to initiate. From the formation and development of magma reservoirs, through propagation and arrest of magma, to the conditions in the conduit, gas escape, eruption dynamics and beyond into the environmental impacts of that eruption: we are trying to define how processes occur, their rates and timings, their causes and consequences. However, we are usually unable to observe the processes directly. Here we give a short synopsis of the new capabilities and highlight the potential insights that in situ observation can provide. We present the XRheo and Pele furnace experimental apparatus and analytical toolkit for the in situ X-ray tomography based quantification of magmatic microstructural evolution during rheological testing. We present the first 3D data showing the evolving textural heterogeneity within a shearing magma, highlighting the dynamic changes to microstructure that occur from the initiation of shear, and the variability of the microstructural response to that shear as deformation progresses. The detailed, in-situ, characterization of sample textures presented here therefore represents the opening of a new field for the accurate parameterization of dynamic microstructural control on rheological behavior.

Keywords: Flow, Magmatic processes, bubbles, in situ, Synchrotron radiation, multi-phase rheology, volcanology, X-ray tomography (XCT)

Received: 06 Dec 2019; Accepted: 19 Jun 2020.

Copyright: © 2020 Dobson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Katherine J. Dobson, Durham University, Earth Sciences, Durham, United Kingdom, katherine.dobson@strath.ac.uk