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Modern quantitative phase equilibria modelling allows the calculation of the stable phase assemblage of a rock system given its pressure, temperature and bulk composition. A new software tool (Rcrust) has been developed that allows the modelling of points in pressure–temperature–bulk composition space in which bulk compositional changes can be passed from point to point as the system evolves. This new methodology enables quantitative process-oriented investigation of the evolution of rocks. Procedures are outlined here for using this tool to model: (1) the control of the water content of a subsolidus system based on available pore space; (2) the triggering of melt loss events when a critical melt volume threshold is exceeded, while allowing a portion of melt retention; (3) the entrainment of crystals during segregation and ascent of granitic magmas from its source; (4) the modification of the composition of granite magmas owing to fractional crystallization; and (5) the progressive availability (through dissolution) of slow diffusing species and their control of the effective bulk composition of a system. These cases collectively illustrate thermodynamically constrained methods for modelling systems that involve mass transfer.

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