Vulcanian eruptions are common at many volcanoes around the world. Vulcanian activity occurs as either isolated sequences of eruptions or as precursors to sustained explosive events and is interpreted as clearing of shallow plugs from volcanic conduits. Breadcrust bombs characteristic of Vulcanian eruptions represent samples of different parts of these plugs and preserve information that can be used to infer parameters of pre-eruption magma ascent. The morphology and preserved volatile contents of breadcrust bombs erupted in 1999 from Guagua Pichincha volcano, Ecuador, thus allow us to constrain the physical processes responsible for Vulcanian eruption sequences of this volcano. Morphologically, breadcrust bombs differ in the thickness of glassy surface rinds and in the orientation and density of crack networks. Thick rinds fracture to create deep, widely spaced cracks that form large rectangular domains of surface crust. In contrast, thin rinds form polygonal networks of closely spaced shallow cracks. Rind thickness, in turn, is inversely correlated with matrix glass water content in the rind. Assuming that all rinds cooled at the same rate, this correlation suggests increasing bubble nucleation delay times with decreasing pre-fragmentation water content of the melt. A critical bubble nucleation threshold of 0.4–0.9 wt% water exists, below which bubble nucleation does not occur and resultant bombs are dense. At pre-fragmentation melt H2O contents of >~0.9 wt%, only glassy rinds are dense and bomb interiors vesiculate after fragmentation. For matrix glass H2O contents of ≥1.4 wt%, rinds are thin and vesicular instead of thick and non-vesicular. A maximum measured H2O content of 3.1 wt% establishes the maximum pressure (63 MPa) and depth (2.5 km) of magma that may have been tapped during a single eruptive event. More common H2O contents of ≤1.5 wt% suggest that most eruptions involved evacuation of ≤1.5 km of the conduit. As we expect that substantial overpressures existed in the conduit prior to eruption, these depth estimates based on magmastatic pressure are maxima. Moreover, the presence of measurable CO2 (≤17 ppm) in quenched glass of highly degassed magma is inconsistent with simple models of either open- or closed-system degassing, and leads us instead to suggest re-equilibration of the melt with gas derived from a deeper magmatic source. Together, these observations suggest a model for the repeated Vulcanian eruptions that includes (1) evacuation of the shallow conduit during an individual eruption, (2) depressurization of magma remaining in the conduit accompanied by opensystem degassing through permeable bubble networks, (3) rapid conduit re-filling, and (4) dome formation prior to the subsequent explosion. An important part of this process is densification of upper conduit magma to allow repressurization between explosions. At a critical overpressure, trapped pressurized gas fragments the nascent impermeable cap to repeat the process.
|Autori:||H.M.N. WRIGHT; K. CASHMAN; ROSI M; R. CIONI|
|Titolo:||Breadcrust bombs as indicatore of vulcanian eruption dynamics at Guagua Pichincha volcano, Ecuador|
|Anno del prodotto:||2006|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1007/s00445-006-0073-6|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|