Magma flow and palaeo-stress deduced from magnetic fabric analysis of the Álftafjörður dyke swarm: implications for shallow crustal magma transport in Icelandic volcanic systems
P. I. Eriksson, M. S. Riishuus, S.-Å. Elming, 2015. "Magma flow and palaeo-stress deduced from magnetic fabric analysis of the Álftafjörður dyke swarm: implications for shallow crustal magma transport in Icelandic volcanic systems", The Use of Palaeomagnetism and Rock Magnetism to Understand Volcanic Processes, M. H. Ort, M. Porreca, J. W. Geissman
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Neogene regional mafic dykes extending north of the Álftafjörður central volcano in east Iceland are studied to test models of dyke swarm emplacement at spreading ridges. This is accomplished by using anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility to define fossilized magma flow regimes. The imbrication of the foliation plane, defined by the minor susceptibility axis, is used as an indicator of the flow direction. Contemporaneous shear resolved on the dyke walls may modify a pure flow-induced fabric and such shear regimes are therefore retracted. The magma flow and palaeo-stress resolved on the dykes are determined in 13 of 24 dykes. The magma flow is interpreted as subhorizontal and northwards directed away from the central volcano for nine dykes, and found to be vertical in three cases. The preferentially subhorizontal magma flow in the Álftafjörður swarm suggests that dyke propagation in this type of Icelandic volcanic system originates in shallow crustal magma chambers. The regional tectonic palaeo-stress field is deduced to cause oblique spreading across the Álftafjörður dyke swarm and govern a subhorizontal dextral shear component on the dyke planes during propagation. This interpretation is not in conflict with the left-stepping en echelon trend distribution of individual dykes relative to the trend of the swarm.
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This volume provides a synopsis of current research on volcanic processes, as gained through the use of palaeomagnetic and rock magnetic techniques. Thermoremanent magnetization information provides a powerful means of deciphering thermal processes in volcanic deposits, including estimating the emplacement temperature of pyroclastic deposits, which allows us to understand better the rates of cooling during eruption and transport. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility and anisotropy of remanence are used primarily to investigate rock fabrics and to quantify flow dynamics in dykes, lava flows, and pyroclastic deposits, as well as identify vent locations. Rock-magnetic characteristics allow correlation of volcanic deposits, but also provide means to date volcanic deposits and to understand better their cooling history. Because lava flows are typically good recorders of past magnetic fields, data from them allow understanding of changes in geomagnetic field directions and intensity, providing clues on the origin of Earth’s magnetic field.