Effusive intermediate glaciovolcanism in the Garibaldi Volcanic Belt, southwestern British Columbia, Canada
Published:January 01, 2002
M. C. Kelman, J. K. Russell, C. J. Hickson, 2002. "Effusive intermediate glaciovolcanism in the Garibaldi Volcanic Belt, southwestern British Columbia, Canada", Volcano–Ice Interaction on Earth and Mars, J. L. Smellie, M. G. Chapman
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The Garibaldi Volcanic Belt (GVB) in southwestern British Columbia is dominated by intermediate composition volcanoes in a setting that has been intermittently subjected to widespread glaciation. The glaciovolcanic features produced are distinctive, and include flow-dominated tuyas, subglacial domes, and ice-marginal flows. Flow-dominated tuyas, which are intermediate in composition, are unlike conventional basaltic tuyas; they consist of stacks of flat-lying lava flows, and lack pillows and hyaloclastite. They are inferred to represent subglacial eruptions that ultimately breached the ice surface. subglacial domes occur as steep-sided masses of heavily-jointed, glassy lava, and represent eruptions that were entirely subglacial. Ice-marginal flows derive from subaerial flows that were impounded against ice.
Two unique aspects of GVB glaciovolcanic products are the presence of flow-dominated tuyas and the apparent scarcity of primary fragmental deposits. These unique features result from lava composition, the minimization of direct lava-water contact during eruptions, and topography. Composition influences morphology because eruption temperature decreases, and viscosity and glass transition temperature both increase with silica content. The result of this is that silicic subglacial volcanoes melt less water and are less likely to trap it near the vent, leading to the formation of structures whose shapes are strongly influenced by the surrounding ice. Topography also enhances meltwater drainage, favours lava flow impoundment in ice-filled valleys, and may, through erosion, influence the observed distribution of fragmental glaciovolcanic deposits.
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Volcano–Ice Interaction on Earth and Mars
This volume focuses on magmas and cryospheres on Earth and Mars and is the first publication of its kind to combine a thematic set of contributions addressing the diverse range of volcano-ice interactions known or thought to occur on both planets. Understanding those interactions is a comparatively young scientific endeavour, yet it is vitally important for a fuller comprehension of how planets work as integrated systems. It is also topical since future volcanic eruptions on Earth may contribute to melting ice sheets and thus to global sea level rise.
Papers included here are likely to influence the choice of sites for future Mars missions in exobiologically important areas. On Earth, snow and ice are widespread, not only in extensive icecaps but also as alpine glaciers at high elevations in tropical regions. By contrast, Mars today is an arid volcanic planet with only small polar ice-caps although an abundance of water is believed to be trapped in the cryolithosphere. It is also thought that the planet may have sustained extensive frozen oceans early in its history. The presence of a former hydrosphere, a cryosphere and coincident volcanism thus make Mars the likeliest prospect for the first discoveries of life away from Earth. Much research has assumed that terrestrial volcano-ice systems are plausible analogues for putative Martian examples, but until mankind finally sets foot on Mars, there is no simple test for that assumption.
Our hope is that the knowledge presented here will stimulate research among planetary geologists in this exciting, rapidly expanding field for many years to come.