Skip to main content

Bowens reaction principle

Bowen's reaction principle A concept, first propounded in 1928 by Norman Bowen, which explains how minerals can respond to the changing equilibrium conditions when a magma is cooled, by either a continuous, diffusion-controlled exchange of elements with the magma or discontinuous melting of the mineral. In a continuous exchange or reaction, solid-solution minerals such as feldspar adjust their composition during cooling by a continuous diffusion of elements between magma and mineral, whilst in a discontinuous reaction, minerals such as olivine undergo melting at a specific temperature during cooling (the peritectic point) at the same time as a new mineral in equilibrium with the magma begins to crystallize (in this case pyroxene). Bowen suggested a series of these reactions that might take place during the cooling of a tholeiitic basalt magma, the so-called Bowen's reaction series, but pointed out that the series was a simplification of very complex reactions and could be misleading if taken at face value. The specific reaction series for tholeiitic magmas was never intended to become a general reaction series for all magmas.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bowens reaction principle." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . 26 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Bowens reaction principle." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . (March 26, 2019).

"Bowens reaction principle." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Retrieved March 26, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.