Mid-loaf crisis : Internal breadcrust surfaces in rhyolitic pyroclasts reveal dehydration quenching

Tuffen, Hugh and Farquharson, Jamie I. and Wadsworth, Fabian B. and Webb, Cameron and Owen, Jacqueline and Castro, Jonathan M. and Berlo, Kim and Schipper, C. Ian and Wehbe, Katia (2022) Mid-loaf crisis : Internal breadcrust surfaces in rhyolitic pyroclasts reveal dehydration quenching. Geology. ISSN 0091-7613

[thumbnail of Tuffen_et_al_2022_Geology_author_version]
Text (Tuffen_et_al_2022_Geology_author_version)
Tuffen_et_al_2022_Geology_author_version.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (18MB)


Breadcrust bombs are pyroclasts displaying fractured, dense surfaces enveloping expanded interiors, and are associated with Vulcanian explosions. We document pyroclasts from the 2008–2009 CE eruption of Chaitén (Chile) that are internally as well as externally breadcrusted. The pyroclasts are cut by intersecting micrometer- to millimeter-thick tuffisites with dense glassy walls, which grade into strongly inflated pumiceous material. We find H2O diffusion gradients proximal to the breadcrusted surfaces, such that H2O is depleted from far-field magma (0.68 ± 0.04 wt%) into dense, fractured vein walls (0.2–0.3 wt%), indicating a spatial association between H2O mass transfer within the pyroclast interior and both suppressed vesiculation and breadcrusting. We experimentally confirm that diffusive H2O depletion suppresses bubble growth at shallow conduit conditions. Therefore, we interpret the breadcrust formation to be induced by H2O diffusion and the associated rise in viscosity rather than by cooling in the classical breadcrust-formation models. We posit that a “dehydration quench” is important as degassing continues to very low H2O contents in shallow-conduit magma that continues to vesiculate.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? geologygeology ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
21 Jul 2022 14:20
Last Modified:
03 May 2024 00:19