Bubbles matter: An assessment of the contribution of vapor bubbles to melt inclusion volatile budgets
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H2O and CO2 concentrations of the glass phase in melt inclusions (MI) are commonly used both as a barometer and to track magma degassing behavior during ascent due to the strong pressure dependence of H2O and CO2 solubilities in silicate melts. A requirement for this method to be valid is that the glass phase in the MI must represent the composition of the melt that was originally trapped. However, melt inclusions commonly contain a vapor bubble that formed after trapping. Such bubbles may contain CO2 that was originally dissolved in the melt. In this study, we determined the contribution of CO2 in the vapor bubble to the overall CO2 content of MI based on quantitative Raman analysis of the vapor bubbles in MI from the 1959 Kilauea Iki, 1960 Kapoho, 1974 Fuego volcano, and 1977 Seguam Island eruptions. The bubbles contain up to 90% or more of the total CO2 in some MI. Reconstructing the original CO2 content by adding the CO2 in the bubble back into the melt results in an increase in CO2 concentration by as much an order of magnitude (1000s of ppm), corresponding to trapping pressures that are significantly greater (by 1 to >3 kbars) than one would predict based on analysis of the volatiles in the glass alone. Many MI also showed the presence of a carbonate mineral phase; failure to include its contained CO2 when reconstructing the CO2 content of the originally trapped melt may introduce significant errors in the calculated volatile budget.
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