The influence of water in silicate melt on aluminium excess in plagioclase as a potential hygrometer

Fiedrich, Alina M.; Martin, Lukas H. J.; Storck, Julian-C.; Ulmer, Peter; Heinrich, Christoph A.; Bachmann, Olivier (2018). The influence of water in silicate melt on aluminium excess in plagioclase as a potential hygrometer. Scientific reports, 8(1) Springer Nature 10.1038/s41598-018-29178-z

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Measuring water contents of magmas is fundamental to resolving a number of geological questions, such as the mechanisms of silicic magma evolution, the triggering of volcanic eruptions, and the formation of porphyry copper deposits. This study focuses on the correlation between apparent deviations from stoichiometry of plagioclase crystals and high water concentration in the magmatic melt from which they grew. We considered this relationship as a potential geo-hygrometer (water activity indicator). To test and potentially calibrate this new technique, a range of natural and experimental plagioclase crystals were analysed, with particular care taken to identify and avoid analytical bias and artefacts. In contrast to recently published material, we found no systematic aluminium excess in plagioclase, irrespective of the water concentration of the silicate melt it crystallised from. This suggests that aluminium excess in plagioclase cannot serve as a geo-hygrometer. The high likelihood of misinterpreting analytical artefacts (due to alkali migration and imprecise standardisation) as small deviations from stoichiometry, also requires its application as a mineral exploration tool to be treated with caution.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Storck, Julian-Christopher


500 Science > 540 Chemistry
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




Springer Nature




Julian-Christopher Storck

Date Deposited:

19 Nov 2019 11:25

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:32

Publisher DOI:





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