Geochemical constraints on the role of tuffisite veins in degassing at the 2008–09 Chaitén and 2011–12 Cordón Caulle rhyolite eruptions

Paisley, Rebecca and Berlo, Kim and Ghaleb, Bassam and Tuffen, Hugh (2019) Geochemical constraints on the role of tuffisite veins in degassing at the 2008–09 Chaitén and 2011–12 Cordón Caulle rhyolite eruptions. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. ISSN 0377-0273

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Hybrid activity during the rhyolitic eruptions of Chaitén (2008-09) and Cordón Caulle (2011-2012) in Chile has offered unprecedented insights into the enigmatic and complex degassing processes occurring during eruptions of silicic magma. Highly permeable, transient fracture networks within the conduit can act as outgassing channels. Their interaction with deeper volatile-rich melt can account for both punctuated explosive activity and large-scale degassing of the system, leading towards predominantly effusive behaviour. In this study we characterise trace element concentrations and 210Pb-226Ra systematics within pyroclastic material from the recent eruptions at Chaitén and Cordón Caulle volcanoes. Results reveal how gas fluxing from deep, volatile-rich reservoirs to the surface, within magmatic conduits, can be recorded by trace elements and 210Pb-226Ra disequilibria in tuffisite veins. Tuffisite veins (particle-filled fracture networks) are present in volcanic bombs from both eruptions. Trace element heterogeneity associated with tuffisites preserves evidence for degassing. At Chaitén, enrichments (e.g. Cu) and depletions (e.g. Mo, Li and Bi) are identified in vein material and clasts transported within veins, and record multiple degassing events. At Cordón Caulle, enrichments of volatiles in an early vein (e.g. Tl and Bi) and depletions in a later vein (e.g. Cd, In, Pb and Tl) reflect interactions between glassy clasts and the carrier gas phase that transported them. In contrast, 210Pb and 226Ra, which can be fractionated during degassing, are mostly in secular equilibrium. Modelling suggests that the disparity between the signals preserved in these two types of chemical signatures reflects the brevity of degassing events and the relative volumes of tuffisite veins and the bodies of degassing magma that they source gas from. The lack of preserved 210Pb enrichments in tuffisite veins at both volcanoes places an upper limit on the mass of deeper, bubble-rich magma outgassed via tuffisites during their lifetime. This study shows that both the presence, and absence, of sample-scale geochemical heterogeneity can be used to place constraints on syn-eruptive physical processes and underlines the value of analysing a wide suite of trace element species.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, ?, ?, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2019.05.013
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23 May 2019 10:26
Last Modified:
05 Nov 2023 01:10