Volume 14 Issue 2
Mar.  2023
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Brendan Dyck. Sticking together: Mechanisms of quartz synneusis in high-silica magma Brendan Dyck[J]. Geoscience Frontiers, 2023, 14(2): 101512. doi: 10.1016/j.gsf.2022.101512
Citation: Brendan Dyck. Sticking together: Mechanisms of quartz synneusis in high-silica magma Brendan Dyck[J]. Geoscience Frontiers, 2023, 14(2): 101512. doi: 10.1016/j.gsf.2022.101512

Sticking together: Mechanisms of quartz synneusis in high-silica magma Brendan Dyck

doi: 10.1016/j.gsf.2022.101512

I thank Associate Editor Dr. Richard Palin for handling this submission, Laurence Robb for loaning me the Bobbejaankop samples, and Marian Holness, George Bergantz and John Faithfull for the discussions that spurred on this paper. Helpful comments from three anonymous reviewers improved this manuscript. This work was supported by a NSERC Discovery Grant.

  • Received Date: 2022-08-22
  • Accepted Date: 2022-11-15
  • Rev Recd Date: 2022-10-24
  • Publish Date: 2023-03-06
  • The formation of crystal clusters by synneusis (magmatic sintering) affects a wide range of magmatic systems from olivine clusters in komatiite to quartz clusters in high-silica granite. A common feature of synneusis in any mineral phase is the alignment of neighbouring crystals in certain lower-energy orientation relationships. However, the underlying mechanisms involved with both the alignment of crystals in lower-energy orientations and the binding of crystal clusters are not well understood. In the absence of mechanisms that bind crystals together upon contact, the same hydrodynamic forces that may bring crystals together can in theory also serve to disaggregate clusters. Here I use cathodoluminescence imaging and crystal orientation data from quartz clusters in high-silica granite to show that i) rapid crystalline neck growth along attachment surfaces and ii) grain rotation are two mechanisms that reduce the grain boundary energy of crystal clusters while increasing clusters’ shear strength. The continued crystallization of sintered phases as the magmatic body cools further cements crystal pairs and resists cluster disaggregation. Together these mechanisms underpin both the formation and preservation of large crystal clusters in dynamic magmatic environments.
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