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Phase petrology reveals shallow magma storage prior to large explosive silicic eruptions at Hekla volcano, Iceland

Castro, Jonathan M.
Published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 2017, vol. 466, p. 168-180
Abstract Understanding the conditions that culminate in explosive eruptions of silicic magma is of great importance for volcanic hazard assessment and crisis mitigation. However, geological records of active volcanoes typically show a wide range of eruptive behavior and magnitude, which can vary dramatically for individual eruptive centers. In order to evaluate possible future scenarios of eruption precursors, magmatic system variables for different eruption types need to be constrained. Here we use petrological experiments and microanalysis of crystals to clarify the P–T–x state under which rhyodacitic melts accumulated prior to the H3 eruption; the largest Holocene Plinian eruption of Hekla volcano in Iceland. Cobalt-buffered, H2O-saturated phase equilibrium experiments reproduce the natural H3 pumice phenocryst assemblage (pl > fa + cpx > ilm + mt > ap + zrc) and glass chemistry, at View the MathML source850±15°C and PH2O of 130 to 175 MPa, implying shallow crustal magma storage between 5 and 6.6 km. The systematics of FeO and anorthite (CaAl2Si2O8) content in plagioclase reveal that thermal gradients were more important than compositional mixing or mingling within this magma reservoir. As these petrological findings indicate magma storage much shallower than is currently thought of Hekla's mafic system, we use the constrained storage depth in combination with deformation modeling to forecast permissible surface uplift patterns that could stem from pre-eruptive magma intrusion. Using forward modeling of surface deformation above various magma storage architectures, we show that vertical surface displacements caused by silicic magma accumulation at ∼6 km depth would be narrower than those observed in recent mafic events, which are fed from a lower crustal storage zone. Our results show how petrological reconstruction of magmatic system variables can help link signs of pre-eruptive geophysical unrest to magmatic processes occurring in reservoirs at shallow depths. This will enhance our abilities to couple deformation measurements (e.g. InSAR and GPS) to petrological studies to better constrain potential precursors to volcanic eruptions.
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Research group Petrology and Volcanology
Project VAMOS
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WEBER, Gregor, CASTRO, Jonathan M. Phase petrology reveals shallow magma storage prior to large explosive silicic eruptions at Hekla volcano, Iceland. In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2017, vol. 466, p. 168-180. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:94665

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Deposited on : 2017-06-07

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