Alicé S. Davis, David A. Clague, Marjorie S. Schulz, James R. Hein; Low sulfur content in submarine lavas: An unreliable indicator of subaerial eruption. Geology ; 19 (7): 750–753. doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/0091-7613(1991)019<0750:LSCISL>2.3.CO;2
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Low S content (<250 ppm) has been used to identify subaerially erupted Hawaiian and Icelandic lavas. Large differences in S content of submarine-erupted lavas from different tectonic settings indicate that the behavior of S is complex. Variations in S abundance in undegassed, submarine-erupted lavas can result from different source compositions, different percentages of partial melting, and crystal fractionation. Low S concentrations in highly vesicular submarine lavas suggest that partial degassing can occur despite great hydrostatic pressure. These processes need to be evaluated before using S content as an indicator of eruption depth.