Although explosivity is linked with high decompression rates induced by magma ascent, the quantitative relationships between decompression rate and eruption energy have yet to be properly assessed, especially for open-conduit basaltic volcanoes, where ordinary weak activity can rapidly evolve into more intense eruptions. Here, we selected three eruptions of different explosivity from Mt. Etna's recent activity to study the relationships between the observed explosive intensities and decompression rates determined through diffusion chronometry, which is based on modeling volatile diffusion along olivine-hosted melt embayments. The approach used in this study has provided important indications on differences in the timescales of decompression-driven degassing for magmas emitted with markedly distinct eruptive dynamics, starting from similar physical and chemical conditions of the magmas involved in the three eruptions. The intense paroxysmal activity at Voragine Crater on December 3, 2015, was fostered by high decompression rate (∼0.36-0.74 MPa/s), slightly higher than in the less energetic paroxysm that occurred on February 19, 2013, at New South-East Crater (NSEC) (∼0.14-0.29 MPa/s). Decompression rates of magmas emitted during lava fountaining are one order of magnitude greater than values obtained for the mild flank eruption that occurred in December 2018 (∼0.045-0.094 MPa/s). Our results indicate that degassing kinetics controlled the intensity of activity at Mt. Etna, thus suggesting that the explosivity does not depend exclusively on the degree of overpressurization of the shallowest reservoir due to injection of gas from the deepest levels of the plumbing system.

The eruption run-up at Mt. Etna volcano: constraining magma decompression rates and their relationships with the final eruptive energy

Francesco Zuccarello
Primo
;
Marco Viccaro
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Although explosivity is linked with high decompression rates induced by magma ascent, the quantitative relationships between decompression rate and eruption energy have yet to be properly assessed, especially for open-conduit basaltic volcanoes, where ordinary weak activity can rapidly evolve into more intense eruptions. Here, we selected three eruptions of different explosivity from Mt. Etna's recent activity to study the relationships between the observed explosive intensities and decompression rates determined through diffusion chronometry, which is based on modeling volatile diffusion along olivine-hosted melt embayments. The approach used in this study has provided important indications on differences in the timescales of decompression-driven degassing for magmas emitted with markedly distinct eruptive dynamics, starting from similar physical and chemical conditions of the magmas involved in the three eruptions. The intense paroxysmal activity at Voragine Crater on December 3, 2015, was fostered by high decompression rate (∼0.36-0.74 MPa/s), slightly higher than in the less energetic paroxysm that occurred on February 19, 2013, at New South-East Crater (NSEC) (∼0.14-0.29 MPa/s). Decompression rates of magmas emitted during lava fountaining are one order of magnitude greater than values obtained for the mild flank eruption that occurred in December 2018 (∼0.045-0.094 MPa/s). Our results indicate that degassing kinetics controlled the intensity of activity at Mt. Etna, thus suggesting that the explosivity does not depend exclusively on the degree of overpressurization of the shallowest reservoir due to injection of gas from the deepest levels of the plumbing system.
decompression rate, diffusion modeling, explosivity, melt embayment, Mt. Etna
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/541063
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