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Periodic sulphur dioxide degassing from the Soufrière Hills Volcano related to deep magma supply

By
T. Christopher
T. Christopher
1
Montserrat Volcano Observatory, Salem, Montserrat, West Indies
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M. Edmonds
M. Edmonds
2
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, UK
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B. Taisne
B. Taisne
3
Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, N2-01B-25, Singapore 639798
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H. Odbert
H. Odbert
4
School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, Bristol BS8 1RJ, UK
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A. Costa
A. Costa
5
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia – Sezione di Bologna, Via Donato Creti, 12, 40128 Bologna, Italy
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V. Hards
V. Hards
6
British Geological Survey Environmental Science Centre, Nicker Hill, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG, UK
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G. Wadge
G. Wadge
7
Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2015

Abstract

Soufrière Hills Volcano produced prodigious quantities of sulphur dioxide (SO2) gas throughout 1995–2013. An unprecedented, detailed record of SO2 flux shows that high SO2 fluxes were sustained through eruptive pauses and for two years after the end of lava extrusion and are decoupled from lava extrusion rates. Lava extrusion rates have exhibited strong 1- to 2-year cyclicity. Wavelet analysis demonstrates periodicities of c. 5 months and c. 2 years within the SO2 time series, as well as the shorter cycles identified previously. The latter period is similar to the wavelength of cycles in lava extrusion, albeit non-systematically offset. The periodicities are consistent with pressure changes accompanying deformation in a coupled magma reservoir system whereby double periodic behaviour may arise from limited connectivity between two reservoirs. During periods of lava extrusion SO2 is released together with the lava (yielding the c. 2 year period), albeit with some offset. In contrast, when magma cannot flow because of its yield strength, SO2 is released independently from lava (yielding the c. 5 month period). Our results have implications for eruption forecasting. It seems likely that, when deep supply of magma ceases, gas fluxes will cease to be periodic.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

The Role of Volatiles in the Genesis, Evolution and Eruption of Arc Magmas

G. F. Zellmer
G. F. Zellmer
Massey University, New Zealand
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M. Edmonds
M. Edmonds
University of Cambridge, UK
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S. M. Straub
S. M. Straub
Columbia University, USA
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Geological Society of London
Volume
410
ISBN electronic:
9781862396982
Publication date:
January 01, 2015

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