Abstract

At Mount Etna, Italy, vigorous gas-rich eruptions in A.D. 2001, 2002, and 2003 were followed by gas-poor eruptions in 2004, 2006, and 2007. Analyses of volatile (CO2, H2O, S, Cl, F), semivolatile (Cu), and involatile (Nb, La) elements trapped in olivine-hosted melt inclusions from these latest eruptions reveal the effects of the sustained interaction between a percolating gas phase and the stored magma. Melt inclusion compositions indicate that magmas erupted from 2004 to 2007 were residual from the 2001–2003 eruptions, and show significant evolution in the volatile content of the melt. These melt inclusion observations, and variations in the C/S of volcanic gases, can be accounted for if melts reequilibrated with CO2-rich gases during storage and prior to entrapment as melt inclusions. Sustained gas percolation caused loss of water and enhancement of CO2 in the evolving melt and may strongly influence the behavior of Cu, which potentially partitions into the gas phase. Vapor-melt interactions during magma storage are important controls on magma evolution at persistently degassing volcanoes.

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