Abstract

The central Taupo Volcanic Zone in New Zealand is a region of intense Quaternary silicic volcanism accompanying rapid extension of continental crust. At least 34 caldera-forming ignimbrite eruptions have produced a complex sequence of relatively short-lived, nested, and/or overlapping volcanic centers over 1.6 m.y. Silicic volcanism at Taupo is similar to the Yellowstone system in size, longevity, thermal flux, and magma output rate. However, Taupo contrasts with Yellowstone in the exceptionally high frequency, but small size, of caldera-forming eruptions. This contrast reflects the thin, rifted nature of the crust, which precludes the development of long-term magmatic cycles at Taupo.

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