Because the value of D

_{i}depends so heavily on the mineral for a single magma type like basalt, the trace element content of a rock may be used to help identify the presence of particular minerals during partial melting or the loss of particular minerals during fractional crystallization. To see what to expect for an element based on its distribution coefficient, it is helpful to look at some models of ways the liquid and crystals might be separated during melting or crystallization.

If a mineral is removed from contact with a magma instantaneously as it is formed, the maximum effect on the trace element composition is produced. A model of instantaneous removal can be described by the Rayleigh Fractionation equation. The Rayleigh equation gives the ratio (

**C**) of the concentration of a trace element (

_{i}/C_{o}**i**) in the liquid,

**C**, relative to the concentration of element (

_{i}**i**) in the liquid before any fractionation has occurred,

**C**, as a function of the fraction,

_{o}**F**, of the liquid that remains and of the distribution coefficient,

_{L}**D**. The equation is:

_{i}(2) C

_{i}/C

_{o}= F

_{L}

^{(Di - 1)}

Figure 9.01 shows the Rayleigh model for various values of D

_{i}and liquid fractions, F

_{L}.

**Click on the diagram**to see a larger, interactive version. After you look at Figure 9.01, answer the following questions:

1. Which values of

**D**guarantee a significant decrease the concentration of trace element (

_{i}**i**) during fractional crystallization?

**Yes!**A high

**D**(D

_{i}_{i}>>1) means that the trace element will preferentially be included in the fractionating mineral and its concentration in the liquid will decrease significantly with even a small amount of fractional crystallization. You can see this in Figure 9.01 by choosing a large value (say 5) for D

_{i}and moving the F

_{L}slider.

**No.**A high

**D**(D

_{i}_{i}>>1) is needed for a trace element to be preferentially be included in the fractionating mineral. With a high value for D

_{i}, its concentration in the liquid will decrease significantly with even a small amount of fractional crystallization. You can see this in Figure 9.01 by choosing a large value (say 5) for D

_{i}and moving the F

_{L}slider.

2. For a distribution coefficient of 2, what will be the value of Ci/Co when only 70% of the original liquid remains?

**Yes!**0.70 is the value of Ci/Co when only 70% of the original liquid remains. You can see this in Figure 9.01 by choosing 2 for D

_{i}and moving the F

_{L}slider to 0.70 and then putting your mouse over the last red dot.

**No!**0.70 is the value of Ci/Co when only 70% of the original liquid remains. You can see this in Figure 9.01 by choosing 2 for D

_{i}and moving the F

_{L}slider to 0.70 and then putting your mouse over the last red dot.

3. For a distribution coefficient of 0.002, what fraction of the liquid (F

_{L}) must be crystallized for the value of Ci/Co to reach 2?

**Yes!**0.50 fraction of the liquid (F

_{L}) that must be crystallized for the value of Ci/Co to reach 2? You can see this in Figure 9.01 by choosing 0.002 for D

_{i}and moving the F

_{L}slider until the red dots reach 2.0 and then putting your mouse over the last red dot to confirm.

**No!**0.50 fraction of the liquid (F

_{L}) that must be crystallized for the value of Ci/Co to reach 2? You can see this in Figure 9.01 by choosing 0.002 for D

_{i}and moving the F

_{L}slider until the red dots reach 2.0 and then putting your mouse over the last red dot to confirm.