Access the Program from the MELTS Homepage
MELTS is a software package designed to facilitate thermodynamic modeling of phase equilibria in magmatic systems. Users can compute equilibrium phase relations for igneous systems over the temperature range 500-2000 °C and the pressure range 0-2 GPa.
Use and Relevance
Use in Teaching
- Mineral composition and properties of igneous rocks (including plutonic and volcanic rocks)
- Composition of materials and compositional variation
- Composition of the Earth's mantle and crust
- Interpreting phase diagrams
- Understanding how melting can drive compositional changes in the materials making up the Earth's crust and mantle
- Using forward modelling to examine crystal fractionation
- Using forward modelling to examine equilibrium crystallization
- Performing experiments on a computer using compositional data from scientific literature
- Using modelling to understand how temperature, pressure, and oxidation states of a system impact the crystallization of igneous rocks
- Understanding how subltle variations in mineral content, including presence of water, can impact modelling scenarios of material compositional changes (eg. the fractionation of basalt into rhiolite)
Exploring the Data
Data Type and Presentation
Accessing the Data
Manipulating Data and Creating Visualizations
Tools for Data Manipulation
About the Data
Limitations and Sources of Error
MELTS is intended for modeling magmatic phase relations at low pressure (< 2 GPa). It is better calibrated in mafic systems and should work especially well for MORBs and alkalic mafic magmas. Phase equilibria involving hornblende and biotite are not modeled well by the MELTS package and consequently simulating the evolution of intermediate to silica-rich calc-alkaline systems is not recommended. MELTS results are only as good as the underlying experimental data source so make sure you are working from a reliable dataset.
References and Resources
Education Resources that Use this Dataset
Other Related Scientific References
- Ghiorso, Mark S. (1997) Thermodynamic Models of Igneous Processes. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 25, 221-241.
Citing Use of the Dataset
- The following references should be cited for results from using MELTS:
- Ghiorso, Mark S., and Sack, Richard O. (1995) Chemical Mass Transfer in Magmatic Processes. IV. A Revised and Internally Consistent Thermodynamic Model for the Interpolation and Extrapolation of Liquid-Solid Equilibria in Magmatic Systems at Elevated Temperatures and Pressures. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology,, 119, 197-212.
- Asimow PD, Ghiorso MS (1998) Algorithmic Modifications Extending MELTS to Calculate Subsolidus Phase Relations. American Mineralogist 83, 1127-1131.
- The following references should be cited for results from using pMELTS:
- Ghiorso, Mark S., Hirschmann, Marc M., Reiners, Peter W., and Kress, Victor C. III (2002) The pMELTS: An revision of MELTS aimed at improving calculation of phase relations and major element partitioning involved in partial melting of the mantle at pressures up to 3 GPa. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 3(5) 10.1029/2001GC000217.
- Boudreau, A.E. (1999) PELE-a version of the MELTS software program for the PC platform. Computers and Geosciences, 25(2), 201-203.