Abstract

That igneous textures can be collectively described, classified, and related to magma composition, style of emplacement, and spatial position speaks deeply to the existence of a specific set of fundamental kinetic processes controlling all magma crystallization. Textures record magma life history, telling the most recent, local conditions of cooling and also where the magma has been. Yet it is largely a mystery how silicate melts crystallize, how they become what they are, and, especially, how the final texture relates to the early transient textures more closely linked to the governing kinetics of nucleation and growth. These rich and intriguing processes can be understood by deciphering textures. This is done by first dismantling and quantifying them, then by rebuilding them and simulating magma crystallization and transport, and last by taking the results to the final court of appeal, the rocks themselves.

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