Pre-eruptive vapour and its role in controlling eruption style and longevity at Soufrière Hills Volcano
Published:January 01, 2014
Marie Edmonds, Madeleine C. S. Humphreys, Erik H. Hauri, Richard A. Herd, Geoff Wadge, Harriet Rawson, Rachel Ledden, Melissa Plail, Jenni Barclay, Alessandro Aiuppa, Thomas E. Christopher, Gaetano Giudice, Roberto Guida, 2014. "Pre-eruptive vapour and its role in controlling eruption style and longevity at Soufrière Hills Volcano", The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010, G. Wadge, R. E. A. Robertson, B. Voight
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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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The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010
The 1995 to present eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano on Montserrat is one of the most important and best-studied eruptions of an explosive andesitic volcano. This volume presents scientific findings from the period between 2000 and 2010; it follows on from Memoir 21, which focused on the early years of activity between 1995 and 1999. In addition to descriptions and analysis of the growth, collapse and explosions associated with lava domes, there are papers on the deformation of the volcano caused by the deep magma, the petrology and geochemistry of the lavas and associated gases. Of particular note are: an overview of the insights into the deep structure of the volcano that resulted from a major international seismic tomography experiment; and an analysis of the quantitative risk assessment process that has run now for most of the eruption, the longest such continuous assessment in the world.