Several geothermobarometric tools have focused on clinopyroxene due to its prevalence in igneous rocks, however clinopyroxene produced in high-silica igneous systems is high in iron and low in aluminum, causing existing geothermometers that depend on aluminum exchange to fail or yield overestimated temperatures. Here we present a new clinopyroxene-liquid geothermometer recommended for use in natural igneous systems with bulk SiO2 ≥ 70 wt%, which contain clinopyroxene with Mg# ≤ 65 and Al2O3 ≤ 7 wt%.


The new geothermometer lowers calculated temperatures by ~85 °C on average relative to Putirka (2008, Eq. 33) and reduces the uncertainty by a factor of two (standard error of estimate ±20 °C). When applied to natural systems, we find this new clinopyroxene-liquid geothermometer reconciles many inconsistencies between experimental phase equilibria and preexisting geothermometry results for silicic volcanism, including those from the Bishop Tuff and Yellowstone caldera-forming and post-caldera rhyolites. We also demonstrate that clinopyroxene is not restricted to near-liquidus temperatures in rhyolitic systems; clinopyroxene can be stable over a broad temperature range, often down to the solidus. An Excel spreadsheet and Python notebook for calculating temperature with this new geothermometer may be downloaded from GitHub at http://bit.ly/cpxrhyotherm.

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