- © The Mineralogical Society Of America
Knowledge of temperature and pressure, however qualitative, has been central to our views of geology since at least the early 19th century. In 1822, for example, Charles Daubeny presented what may be the very first “Geological Thermometer,” comparing temperatures of various geologic processes (Torrens 2006). Daubeny (1835) may even have been the first to measure the temperature of a lava flow, by laying a thermometer on the top of a flow at Vesuvius—albeit several months following the eruption, after intervening rain (his estimate was 390°F). In any case, pressure (P) and temperature (T) estimation lie at the heart of fundamental questions: How hot is Earth, and at what rate has the planet cooled. Are volcanoes the products of thermally driven mantle plumes? Where are magmas stored, and how are they transported to the surface—and how do storage and transport relate to plate tectonics? Well-calibrated thermometers and barometers are essential tools if we are to fully appreciate the driving forces and inner workings of volcanic systems.
This chapter presents methods to estimate the P-T conditions of volcanic and other igneous processes. The coverage includes a review of existing geothermometers and geobarometers, and a presentation of approximately 30 new models, including a new plagioclase-liquid hygrometer. Our emphasis is on experimentally calibrated “thermobarometers,” based on analytic expressions using P or T as dependent variables. For numerical reasons (touched on below) such expressions will always provide the most accurate means of P-T estimation, and are also most easily employed. Analytical expressions also allow error to be ascertained; in the absence of estimates of error, P-T estimates are nearly meaningless. This chapter is intended to complement the chapters by Anderson et al. (2008), who cover granitic systems, and by Blundy and Cashman (2008) and Hansteen and Klügel (2008), who consider additional methods …