Differentiation Mechanism of Magma at Arc Volcanoes

  • Takeru Yanagi
Part of the Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences book series (LNEARTH, volume 136)


Crystallization differentiation in open-system magma chambers appears to be the most suitable differentiation mechanism that can transform primitive basaltic magma into magma of upper continental crust composition. However, the evidence to support existence of such a differentiation mechanism is necessary. If this differentiation mechanism is working, the potassium content, for example, of magma in the chamber will increase first rapidly with time, and then gradually increase, and finally it will become constant at steady-state concentration. The steady-state concentration of this element is about 20 times the initial concentration. This time-dependant variation is simple and hence would likely be captured in the geologic record. To find this pattern, it is necessary to survey volcanoes where evolving magma often erupts at the surface. Such a survey enables us to trace a time-dependent variation of potassium contents in the lavas.


Volcanic Rock Continental Crust Magma Chamber Parental Magma Potassium Content 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.FukuokaJapan

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