In this overview it is planned to show how quantitative determination of mineral modes data, by means of Crystal Size Distribution (CSD), may help in deciphering the kinetics of magmatic crystallization both in natural and experimental conditions. Some stereological considerations will be discussed to provide criteria for the choice of numbers and lengths of size intervals for CSD computations. Equations for the balance of number and size of crystals, in steady state crystallization and in dynamic regime, will be used to define the time frame of magmatic processes, in the context of the case studies of Stromboli and Etna volcanoes.

The functional dependence of crystal size (L) and crystal number from time is explicitly derived by interpreting experiments of olivine crystallization that report CSD data, thus obtaining evaluation of thermodynamic parameters from CSD measurements.

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