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Melts, magmas, and crystals

Master course offered biannually in winter semester (2017, 2019 etc.)

The principal objectives of this course are quantitative description of atomistic structure of silicate melts, equilibrium and transport properties of silicate melts, use of liquidus phase diagrams, kinetics of silicate melts related to crystal nucleation and growth, and interpretation of main processes of magma differentiation based on experimental laboratory studies. The students learn how to process mineral and textural data from igneous rocks, identify processes of magma differentiation and solidification in nature.

Instructor: Prof. David Dolejs

Course format: 2 hr lecture, 2 hr practical session

Course syllabus


  • Introduction to experimental methods
  • Structure of silicate melts
  • Physical properties and rheology of silicate melts
  • Melt generation in the Earth
  • Magma differentiation: crystal-melt equilibria
  • Phase equilibrium modeling of magmatic systems: MELTS software
  • Geothermobarometry of igneous rocks
  • Crystal nucleation and growth
  • Crystal size distribution and rheological thresholds in natural magmas
  • Magma diffuerentiation: mechanical dynamics
  • Magmatic volatiles and their exsolution
  • Dynamics of volcanic eruptions


Course materials are provided in the on-line university system (ILIAS)

Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge