Long-term evolution of erupted magma chemistry

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 2:40 PM
Luca Caricchi, Université de Geneve, Geneva, Switzerland and Guy Simpson, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
Magmatic reservoirs that feed explosive volcanic activity at the surface are constructed by the periodic injection of magma into the upper crust. The long-term magma flux controls the thermal evolution of these magmatic reservoirs and therefore the possibility of accumulating eruptible magma in the plumbing system of volcanoes. Magma flux, in combination with the periodicity of magma injection, regulates the frequency and magnitude of volcanic eruptions. We combined thermal and mechanical modelling with Monte Carlo simulations to compute the temporal evolution of the chemistry of eruptible magma (<50 vol. % crystals) in systems growing at different characteristic magma fluxes. We simulated the periodic injection of andesitic magma in the upper crust and trace the volume and chemistry of the eruptible magma together with the evolution of the overpressure within the reservoir. Eruptions are prescribed to occur once overpressure reached critical values (1-40 MPa).

The calculations show that eruptions of rhyolitic compositions are rare and can only occur after a stage of prolonged thermal maturation of a magmatic reservoir (lasting a few hundredths of thousands of years). Additionally, eruptions of chemically evolved rocks are restricted to a specific range of physical conditions. Interestingly, the probability of eruptions of rhyolitic compositions increases substantially once the injection of magma into the magmatic reservoir ceases, which would imply that rhyolitic eruptions (not produced by partial melting of continental crust) are most likely to occur during the waning (not waxing) stages of magmatic activity.