Thursday, 18 December 2014
Lois Claire Salem1, Marie Edmonds1, John Maclennan1 and Rosa ANNA Corsaro2, (1)University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, (2)National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Rome, Italy
The melts feeding Mt Etna, Italy, are rich in volatiles and drive long-lasting powerful eruptions of basaltic magma in both effusive and explosive styles of activity. The volatile systematics of the volcanic system are well understood through melt inclusion and volcanic gas studies. Etna’s melts are generated from a complex mantle setting, with subduction-related chemical modifications as well as OIB-type features, and then the melts must travel through thick carbonate-rich crust. The continual influx of mantle-derived volatile-rich magma controls the major compositional and eruptive features of Mount Etna and magma mixing has been recognized as an important process driving large eruptions [Kamenetsky, 2007]. Our study focusses on the 1669 eruption, the largest in historical times. Olivine-hosted melt inclusions were analyzed for volatile, trace and major elements using electron microprobe and ion probe (SIMS). We use volatile systematics and geochemical data to deconvolve mantle-derived heterogeneity from melt mixing and crystal fractionation. Our data are well described by a mixing trend between two distinct melts: a CO2-rich (CO2~1000ppm), incompatible trace element depleted melt (La/Yb~16), and a CO2-poor, enriched melt. The mixing also generates a strong correlation between Sr and CO2 in the melt inclusions dataset, reflecting the presence of a strong Sr anomaly in one of the end-member melts. We investigate the origin of this Sr anomaly by considering plagioclase dissolution and crustal assimilation. We also investigate degassing processes in the crust and plumbing system of the volcano. We compare our results with similar studies of OIB and arc-related basalts elsewhere and assess the implications for linking eruption size and style with the nature of the mantle-derived melts.

Kamenetsky et al. (2007) Geology 35, 255-258.