We have devised a new, simple and easy technique to measure the viscosity of hydrous silicate melts by combining an autoclave for melt hydration and the fiber elongation method for viscosity measurement. Using this, we measured the viscosity of hydrous rhyolitic melts whose water content ranges from 0.02 to 0.58 wt%. We observed a drastic decrease in viscosity against water content: 0.1 wt% water decreases the viscosity about an order of magnitude. Even when the water content is only 0.02 wt%, the viscosity decreased about half an order of magnitude. These results clearly demonstrate that the effect of water on viscosity should not be ignored even when it occurs as a trace constituent. We compared our experimental data with those derived from a non-Arrhenian viscosity model, which is considered to be applicable to calc-alkaline samples. This model succeeded in expressing the viscosity variation against water content but was unable to accurately predict the measured viscosity of liquids.
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