Geochemical variability as an indicator for large volume eruptions in volcanic arcs

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. This is version 1 of this Preprint.


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Gregor Weber, Tom Sheldrake 


Caldera-forming eruptions have the potential to impact global climate and induce drastic socioeconomic change. However, the criteria to identify volcanoes capable of producing large magnitude eruptions in the future are not well constrained. Here we compile and analyse data, revealing that volcanoes which have produced catastrophic caldera-forming eruptions in the past, typically show larger ranges of long-term erupted bulk-rock geochemistry compared to those that have not. This observation suggests that geochemical variability is a measure of a magmatic systems size. Using a 2D thermal model that simulates the growth and evolution of crustal-scale magmatic systems by stochastic injection of dikes and sills, we show that such behaviour is consistent with differences in crustal magma fluxes. Higher injection rates accumulate greater melt volumes in more extensive crustal plumbing systems, leading to more variable distributions of temperatures and thus melt composition. We conclude that compositional variability should be included in the catalogue of criteria to identify volcanic systems with greater probabilities of producing future large eruptions. Importantly, this allows to identify stratovolcanoes with caldera-like geochemical signatures, which have not yet been recognized as systems with greater probabilities of producing large magnitude eruptions.



Earth Sciences, Geochemistry, Geology, Volcanology



Published: 2021-11-17 01:19

Last Updated: 2021-11-17 06:19


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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