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Abstract

We report here a growth model for phreatomagmatic maar-diatreme volcanoes with respect to the number of eruptions documented in the tephra beds of maar tephra rings and the upper bedded diatreme facies. We show that the number of tephra beds in large diatremes is larger than that in maar tephra rings. Base surges that lack sufficient momentum to scale high maar crater walls deposit their tephra only inside the crater. Thus the total number of eruptions at large maar-diatreme volcanoes will be larger than the number recorded in maar tephra rings. As many maar-diatreme volcanoes erupt dominantly accidental clasts, an incremental mathematical model was applied to study the growth of diatremes. The model is based only on the ejection of distinct amounts of accidental clasts per unit eruption and the chosen number of eruptions is assumed to be identical. The incremental growth of cone-shaped diatremes follows cube-root functions with respect to diameter and depth and slows down with ongoing eruptions. In nature, small and large maar-diatreme volcanoes are formed and filled syn-eruptively, mostly by tephra, depending on the duration and quantity of magma involved in phreatomagmatic eruptions. In our opinion, this mathematical model is the only current method able to model the growth of diatremes.

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