Meteoric Water in Magmas

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Science  07 Jun 1974:
Vol. 184, Issue 4141, pp. 1069-1072
DOI: 10.1126/science.184.4141.1069


Oxygen isotope analyses of sanidine phenocrysts from rhyolitic sequences in Nevada, Colorado, and the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field show that δ18O decreased in these magmas as a function of time. This decrease in δ18O may have been caused by isotopic exchange between the magma and groundwater low in 18O. For the Yellowstone Plateau rhyolites, 7000 cubic kilometers of magma could decrease in δ18O by 2 per mil in 600,000 years by reacting with water equivalent to 3 millimeters of precipitation per year, which is only 0.3 percent of the present annual precipitation in this region. The possibility of reaction between large magmatic bodies and meteoric water at liquidus temperatures has major implications in the possible differentiation history of the magma and in the generation of ore deposits.