Crystals form in the magma as it rises through the crust and begins to cool. As they crystallise, the tiny crystals continuously record information about the magma, like its composition or temperature. This means that the crystals and textures of the rock provide frozen snapshots of the processes that have happened deep inside the volcano. Once erupted, we can study them in the field and in the laboratory to unravel some of these processes. This way, we can piece together the story of why and how the magma erupted.
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