Glaciovolcanic deposits at Tongariro and Ruapehu volcanoes, New Zealand, represent diverse styles of interaction between wet-based glaciers and andesitic lava. There are ice-confined lavas, and also hydroclastic breccia and subaqueous pyroclastic deposits that formed during effusive and explosive eruptions into meltwater beneath the glacier; they are rare among globally reported products of andesitic glaciovolcanism. The apparent lack of hydrovolcanically fragmented andesite at ice-capped volcanoes has been attributed to a lack of meltwater at the interaction sites because either the thermal characteristics of andesite limit meltwater production or meltwater drains out through leaky glaciers and down steep volcano slopes. We used published field evidence and novel, dynamic andesite-ice experiments to show that, in some cases, meltwater accumulates under glaciers on andesitic volcanoes and that meltwater production rates increase as andesite pushes against an ice wall. We concur with models for eruptions beneath ice sheets showing that the glacial conditions and pre-eruption edifice morphology are more important controls on the style of glaciovolcanism and its products than magma composition and the thermal properties of magmas. Glaciovolcanic products can be useful proxies for paleoenvironment, and the range of andesitic products and the hydrological environments in which andesite erupts are greater than hitherto appreciated.
Controls on andesitic glaciovolcanism at ice-capped volcanoes from field and experimental studies
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R.P. Cole, J.D.L. White, T. Dürig, R. Büttner, B. Zimanowski, M.H. Bowman, C.E. Conway, G.S. Leonard, L.R. Pure, D.B. Townsend; Controls on andesitic glaciovolcanism at ice-capped volcanoes from field and experimental studies. Geology 2021; doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/G48735.1
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