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Controls on the explosivity of scoria cone eruptions: Magma segregation at conduit junctions

Azzopardi, B. J.
Cashman, K. V.
Published in Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 2009, vol. 186, p. 407-415
Abstract Violent strombolian (transitional) eruptions are common in mafic arc settings and are characterized by simultaneous explosive activity from scoria cone vents and lava effusion from lateral vents. This dual activity requires magma from the feeder conduit to split into vertical and lateral branches somewhere near the base of the scoria cone. Additionally, if the flow is separated, gas and liquid (+ crystals) components of the magma may be partitioned unevenly between the two branches. Because flow separation requires bubbles to move independently of the liquid over time scales of magma ascent separation is promoted by low magma viscosities and by high magma H2O content (i.e. sufficiently deep bubble nucleation to allow organization of the gas and liquid phases during magma ascent). Numerical modeling shows that magma and gas distribution between vertical and horizontal branches of a T-junction is controlled by the mass flow rate and the geometry of the system, as well as by magma viscosity. Specifically, we find that mass eruption rates (MERs) between 103 and 105 kg/s allow the gas phase to concentrate within the central conduit, significantly increasing explosivity of the eruption. Lower MERs produce either strombolian or effusive eruption styles, while MER N 105 kg/s prohibit both gas segregation and lateral magma transport, creating explosive eruptions that are not accompanied by effusive activity. These bracketing MER constraints on eruptive transitions are consistent with field observations from recent eruptions of hydrous mafic magmas.
Keywords Basaltic volcanismViolent strombolian eruptionGas segregation
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PIOLI, Laura, AZZOPARDI, B. J., CASHMAN, K. V. Controls on the explosivity of scoria cone eruptions: Magma segregation at conduit junctions. In: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 2009, vol. 186, p. 407-415. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:3382

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Deposited on : 2009-09-25

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