Silicate melts are of fundamental importance in transferring heat and material within the Earth, and to its exterior. Differentiation of the Earth, and the formation of continental and oceanic crust, all occur via igneous processes. On the human timescale, volcanic activity resulted in thousands of deaths over the 20th century and today millions of people are threatened by volcanic activity. A quantitative understanding of the physical properties and thermodynamics of magma is essential to modeling magma chamber processes that cannot be observed directly, and are most commonly interpreted from geochemical and textural signatures. The solubility and diffusivity of volatile components are particularly important in controlling behavior in the conduit, during magma ascent and eruption. Much of the theory of silicate melt structure and properties has arisen from the industrial literature, where silicate melts are either the waste products of ore smelting, or the precursors to glass-making. This volume includes a diverse selection of theoretical and experimental papers that represent the wide spectrum of topics in current silicate melt research.
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