Matching Items (5)

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Tecolote Cinder Cone Ballistics: Volcanic Bomb Formation and Dynamics

Description

Cinder cones are common volcanic structures that occur in fields, and on the flanks of shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes, and calderas. Because they are common structures, they have a significant possibility of impacting humans and human environments. As such, there is

Cinder cones are common volcanic structures that occur in fields, and on the flanks of shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes, and calderas. Because they are common structures, they have a significant possibility of impacting humans and human environments. As such, there is a need to analyze cinder cones to get a better understanding of their eruptions and associated hazards. I will approach this analysis by focusing on volcanic bombs and ballistics, which are large clots of lava that are launched from the volcanic vent, follow ballistic trajectories, and can travel meters to a few kilometers from their source (e.g. Fagents and Wilson 1993; Waitt et al. 1995).
Tecolote Volcano in the Pinacate Volcanic Field in Mexico contains multiple vents within a horseshoe-shaped crater that have all produced various ejecta (Zawacki et al. 2019). The objectives of this research are to map ballistic distribution to understand the relationship between the source vent or vents and the bombs and ballistics that litter the region around Tecolote, and interpret the eruption conditions that ejected those bombs by using their distributions, morphologies, and fine-scale textures.
The findings of this work are that these bombs are apparently from the last stages of the eruption, succeeding the final lava flows. The interiors and exteriors of the bombs display different cooling rates which can are indicated by the fabric found within. Using this, certain characteristics of the bombs during eruption were extrapolated. The ‘cow pie’ bombs were determined to be the least viscous or contained a higher gas content at the time of eruption. Whereas the ribbon/rope bombs were determined to be the most viscous or contained a lesser gas content. Looking at the Southern Bomb Field site, it is dominated by large bombs that were during flight were molded into aerodynamic shapes. The Eastern Rim site is dominated by smaller bombs that appeared to be more liquid during the eruption. This difference in the two sites is a probable indication of at least two different eruptive events of different degrees of explosivity. Overall, aerodynamic bombs are more common and extend to greater distances from the presumed vent (up to 800 m), while very fluidal bombs are uncommon beyond 500 meters. Fluidal bombs (‘cow pie’, ‘ribbon’, ‘rope/spindle’) show a clear trend in decreasing size with distance from vent, whereas the size-distance trend is less dramatic for the aerodynamic bombs.

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Date Created
2020-05

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Analyzing nitrogen in silicate glasses by secondary ion mass spectrometry

Description

Volcanic devolatilization is one of the major processes in the global nitrogen cycle. Past studies have often estimated the magnitude of this flux using volcanic emission measurements, which are limited to currently active systems and sensitive to atmospheric contamination. A

Volcanic devolatilization is one of the major processes in the global nitrogen cycle. Past studies have often estimated the magnitude of this flux using volcanic emission measurements, which are limited to currently active systems and sensitive to atmospheric contamination. A different methodological approach requires appropriate analytical parameters for nitrogen analysis in silicate glasses by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), which have not yet been established. To this end, we analyze various ion implanted basaltic and rhyolitic glasses by SIMS. We demonstrate that water content significantly affects the ion yields of 14N+ and 14N16O−, as well as the background intensity of 14N+ and 12C+. Application of implant-derived calibrations to natural samples provide the first reported concentrations of nitrogen in melt inclusions. These measurements are from samples from the Bishop Tuff in California, the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff of the Yellowstone Volcanic Center, and material from the Okaia and Oruanui eruptions in the Taupo Volcanic Center. In all studied material, we find maximum nitrogen contents of less than 45 ppm and that nitrogen concentration varies positively with CO2 concentration, which is interpreted to reflect partial degassing trend. Using the maximum measured nitrogen contents for each eruption, we find that the Bishop released >3.6 x 1013 g of nitrogen, the Huckleberry Ridge released >1.3 x 1014 g, the Okaia released >1.1 x 1011 g of nitrogen, the Oruanui released >4.7 x 1013 g of nitrogen. Simple calculations suggest that with concentrations such as these, rhyolitic eruptions may ephemerally increase the nitrogen flux to the atmosphere, but are insignificant compared to the 4 x 1021 g of nitrogen stored in the atmosphere.

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Date Created
2016

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Highly explosive mafic volcanism: the role of volatiles

Description

Explosive mafic (basaltic) volcanism is not easily explained by current eruption models, which predict low energy eruptions from low viscosity magma due to decoupling of volatiles (gases). Sunset Crater volcano provides an example of an alkali basalt magma that produced

Explosive mafic (basaltic) volcanism is not easily explained by current eruption models, which predict low energy eruptions from low viscosity magma due to decoupling of volatiles (gases). Sunset Crater volcano provides an example of an alkali basalt magma that produced a highly explosive sub-Plinian eruption. I investigate the possible role of magmatic volatiles in the Sunset Crater eruption through study of natural samples of trapped volatiles (melt inclusions) and experiments on mixed-volatile (H2O-CO2) solubility in alkali-rich mafic magmas.

I conducted volatile-saturated experiments in six mafic magma compositions at pressures between 400 MPa and 600 MPa to investigate the influence of alkali elements (sodium and potassium) on volatile solubility. The experiments show that existing volatile solubility models do not accurately describe CO2 solubility at mid-crustal depths. I calculate thermodynamic fits for solubility in each composition and calibrate a general thermodynamic model for application to other mafic magmas. The model shows that the relative percent abundances of sodium, calcium, and potassium have the greatest influence on CO2 solubility in mafic magmas.

I analyzed olivine-hosted melt inclusions (MIs) from Sunset Crater to investigate pre-eruptive volatiles. I compared the early fissure activity to the sub-Plinian eruptive phases. The MIs are similar in major element and volatile composition suggesting a relatively homogeneous magma. The H2O content is relatively low (~1.2 wt%), whereas the dissolved CO2 content is high (~2300 ppm). I explored rehomogenization and Raman spectroscopy to quantify CO2 abundance in MI vapor bubbles. Calculations of post-entrapment bubble growth suggest that some MI bubbles contain excess CO2. This implies that the magma was volatile-saturated and MIs trapped exsolved vapor during their formation. The total volatile contents of MIs, including bubble contents but excluding excess vapor, indicate pre-eruptive magma storage from 10 km to 18 km depth.

The high CO2 abundance found in Sunset Crater MIs allowed the magma to reach volatile-saturation at mid-crustal depths and generate overpressure, driving rapid ascent to produce the explosive eruption. The similarities in MIs and volatiles between the fissure eruption and the sub-Plinian phases indicate that shallow-level processes also likely influenced the final eruptive behavior.

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Date Created
2018

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Transitions in Eruption Style at La Fossa Cone, Vulcano Island, Italy

Description

Volcanoes can experience multiple eruption styles throughout their eruptive histories. Among the most complex and most common are eruptions of intermediate explosivity, such as Vulcanian and sub-Plinian eruptions. Vulcanian eruptions are characterized by small-scale, short-lived, ash-rich eruptions initiated by the

Volcanoes can experience multiple eruption styles throughout their eruptive histories. Among the most complex and most common are eruptions of intermediate explosivity, such as Vulcanian and sub-Plinian eruptions. Vulcanian eruptions are characterized by small-scale, short-lived, ash-rich eruptions initiated by the failure of a dense magma plug or overlying dome that had sealed an overpressured conduit. Sub-Plinian eruptions are characterized by sustained columns that reach tens of kilometers in height.

Multiple eruption styles can be observed in a single eruptive sequence. In recent decades, transitions in eruption style during well-documented eruptions have been described in detail, with some workers proposing explanatory mechanisms for the transitions. These proposed mechanisms may be broadly classified into processes at depth, processes in the conduit, or some combination of both.

The present study is focused on the Pietre Cotte sequence because it may have encompassed up to three different eruptive cycles, each representing different degrees of explosivity. The first deposits are composed of repeated layers of fine ash and lapilli composed of latite and rhyolite endmembers, efficiently mixed at sub-cm scales. The thin layers and bubble/crystal textures indicate that the magma underwent numerous decompressions and open-system degassing, and that the eruptions waned with time. The second phase of the sequence appears to have been initiated by cm-scale mixing between a volatile-rich, mafic magma from deeper in the system and a shallow silicic body. Textures indicate that the magma ascended rapidly and experienced little to no open-system degassing. The final phase of the sequence again produced repeated layers of fine ash and lapilli, of uniform trachyte composition, and waned with time. The first and last phases were likely produced in Vulcanian eruptions, while the pumice-rich layers were likely produced in Vulcanian to sub-Plinian eruptions.

In summary, the Pietre Cotte sequence is characterized by up to three magma recharge events in ~200 years. The differences in eruptive style appear to have been controlled by variations in the volatile content of the recharge magma, as well as the efficiency and scale of magma mixing and resulting overpressures.

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Date Created
2020

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Quantifying Chalcophile Elements and Heavy Halogens by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry and Demonstrating the Significant Effect of Different Secondary Ion Normalizing Procedures

Description

A novel technique for measuring heavy trace elements in geologic materials with secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) is presented. This technique combines moderate levels of mass resolving power (MRP) with energy filtering in order to remove molecular ion interferences while

A novel technique for measuring heavy trace elements in geologic materials with secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) is presented. This technique combines moderate levels of mass resolving power (MRP) with energy filtering in order to remove molecular ion interferences while maintaining enough sensitivity to measure trace elements. The technique was evaluated by measuring a set of heavy chalcophilic elements in two sets of doped glasses similar in composition to rhyolites and basalts, respectively. The normalized count rates of Cu, As, Se, Br, and Te were plotted against concentrations to test that the signal increased linearly with concentration. The signal from any residual molecular ion interferences (e.g. ²⁹Si³⁰Si¹⁶O on ⁷⁵As) represented apparent concentrations ≤ 1 μg/g for most of the chalcophiles in rhyolitic matrices and between 1 and 10 μg/g in basaltic compositions. This technique was then applied to two suites of melt inclusions from the Bandelier Tuff: Ti-rich, primitive and Ti-poor, evolved rhyolitic compositions. The results showed that Ti-rich inclusions contained ~30 μg/g Cu and ~3 μg/g As while the Ti-poor inclusions contained near background Cu and ~6 μg/g As. Additionally, two of the Ti-rich inclusions contained > 5 μg/g of Sb and Te, well above background. Other elements were at or near background. This suggests certain chalcophilic elements may be helpful in unraveling processes relating to diversity of magma sources in large eruptions. Additionally, an unrelated experiment is presented demonstrating changes in the matrix effect on SIMS counts when normalizing against ³⁰Si⁺ versus ²⁸Si²⁺. If one uses doubly charged silicon as a reference, (common when using large-geometry SIMS instruments to study the light elements Li - C) it is important that the standards closely match the major element chemistry of the unknown.

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Date Created
2021