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Pre-eruptive vapour and its role in controlling eruption style and longevity at Soufrière Hills Volcano

By
Marie Edmonds
Marie Edmonds
Earth Sciences Department, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, UK
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Madeleine C. S. Humphreys
Madeleine C. S. Humphreys
Earth Sciences Departmentt, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3AN, UK
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Erik H. Hauri
Erik H. Hauri
Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 5241 Broad Branch Road NW, Washington, DC 20015, USA
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Richard A. Herd
Richard A. Herd
School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR9 7TJ, UK
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Geoff Wadge
Geoff Wadge
National Centre for Earth Observation, Environmental Systems Science Centre, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AL, UK
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Harriet Rawson
Harriet Rawson
Earth Sciences Department, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, UK
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Rachel Ledden
Rachel Ledden
Earth Sciences Department, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, UK
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Melissa Plail
Melissa Plail
School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR9 7TJ, UK
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Jenni Barclay
Jenni Barclay
School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR9 7TJ, UK
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Alessandro Aiuppa
Alessandro Aiuppa
Dipartimento DiSTeM, Università di Palermo, Via Archirafi 36, I, 90123 Palermo, ItalySezione di Palermo, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Via Ugo La Malfa, 153, I, 90146 Palermo, Italy
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Thomas E. Christopher
Thomas E. Christopher
Montserrat Volcano Observatory, Flemmings, Montserrat, West Indies
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Gaetano Giudice
Gaetano Giudice
Sezione di Palermo, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Via Ugo La Malfa, 153, I, 90146 Palermo, Italy
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Roberto Guida
Roberto Guida
Sezione di Palermo, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Via Ugo La Malfa, 153, I, 90146 Palermo, Italy
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Published:
January 01, 2014

Abstract

We use volatiles in melt inclusions and nominally anhydrous phenocrysts, with volcanic gas flux and composition, and textural analysis of mafic inclusions to estimate the mass of exsolved vapour prior to eruption at Soufrière Hills Volcano (SHV). Pre-eruptive andesite coexists with exsolved vapour comprising 1.6–2.4 wt% of the bulk magma. The water content of orthopyroxenes indicates a zone of magma storage at pressures of approximately 200–300 MPa, whereas melt inclusions have equilibrated at shallower pressures. Inclusions containing >3 wt% H2O are enriched in CO2, suggesting flushing with CO2-rich gases. Intruding mafic magma contains >8 wt% H2O at 200–300 MPa. Rapid quenching is accompanied by crystallization and vesiculation. Upon entrainment into the andesite, mafic inclusions may undergo disaggregation, where expansion of volatiles in the interior overcomes the strength of the crystal frameworks, thereby recharging the vapour content of the andesite. Exsolved vapour may amount to 4.3–8.2 vol% at 300 MPa, with implications for eruption longevity and volume; we estimate the magma reservoir volume to be 60–200 km3. Exsolved vapour may account for the small volume change at depth during eruptions from geodetic models, and has implications for magma flow: exsolution is likely to be in equilibrium during rapid magma ascent, with little nucleation of new bubbles.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Memoirs

The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010

G. Wadge
G. Wadge
University of Reading, UK
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R. E. A. Robertson
R. E. A. Robertson
University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago
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B. Voight
B. Voight
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Geological Society of London
Volume
39
ISBN electronic:
9781862396821
Publication date:
January 01, 2014

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