Phreatomagmatic explosions of rhyolitic magma

Experimental and field evidence

A. Autin-Erickson, R. Büttner, P. Dellino, Michael H Ort, B. Zimanowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Experimental studies on explosive molten fuel-coolant interaction (MFCI) using basaltic melt compositions and water as the coolant have provided insight into the physical processes of basaltic and andesitic phreatomagmatic volcanism. Abundant field evidence indicates that rhyolitic and dacitic phreatomagmatism occurs in nature, but it has not been possible until now to generate laboratory MFCI explosions from the interaction between high-silica melts and water under laboratory conditions. The high viscosity of these melts apparently prevents formation of an effective hydrodynamic premix of melt and water, the documented precursor of experimental explosive MFCI caused by mafic melts. Our new experiments utilized samples from a rhyolitic tuff ring volcano in Mexico (Tepexitl). An experimental approach was developed, in which premixing conditions were generated by mechanical deformation of the melt, leading to brittle-type fragmentation at the melt-water interface. Physical measurements recorded during laboratory explosion provide quantitative evidence for rhyolitic explosive MFCI. Additionally, a comparison of experimentally produced particles with natural ones from Tepexitl deposits show nearly identical chemical/ mineralogical composition, grain size, and grain morphology. Detailed textural analysis confirmed the presence of phreatomagmatically produced particles in both experimental and natural analog particles. The results from this series of experiments indicate that under natural conditions, stress-induced magma fracturing can lead to a critical magma-water-interface growths and trigger phreatomagmatic explosions of high-silica magma. The water source for these eruptions may include shallow aquifers, surface water bodies, strong precipitation, and intrusion into ice or wet, unconsolidated sediments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberB11201
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
Volume113
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 4 2008

Fingerprint

explosions
magma
Explosions
coolants
explosion
Coolants
melt
Water
Molten materials
water
explosive
Silicon Dioxide
silica
interactions
phreatomagmatism
premixing
silicon dioxide
natural analog
tuff
volcanic activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Phreatomagmatic explosions of rhyolitic magma : Experimental and field evidence. / Autin-Erickson, A.; Büttner, R.; Dellino, P.; Ort, Michael H; Zimanowski, B.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, Vol. 113, No. 11, B11201, 04.11.2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Autin-Erickson, A. ; Büttner, R. ; Dellino, P. ; Ort, Michael H ; Zimanowski, B. / Phreatomagmatic explosions of rhyolitic magma : Experimental and field evidence. In: Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets. 2008 ; Vol. 113, No. 11.
@article{b560229ac10c41709b809882d7478849,
title = "Phreatomagmatic explosions of rhyolitic magma: Experimental and field evidence",
abstract = "Experimental studies on explosive molten fuel-coolant interaction (MFCI) using basaltic melt compositions and water as the coolant have provided insight into the physical processes of basaltic and andesitic phreatomagmatic volcanism. Abundant field evidence indicates that rhyolitic and dacitic phreatomagmatism occurs in nature, but it has not been possible until now to generate laboratory MFCI explosions from the interaction between high-silica melts and water under laboratory conditions. The high viscosity of these melts apparently prevents formation of an effective hydrodynamic premix of melt and water, the documented precursor of experimental explosive MFCI caused by mafic melts. Our new experiments utilized samples from a rhyolitic tuff ring volcano in Mexico (Tepexitl). An experimental approach was developed, in which premixing conditions were generated by mechanical deformation of the melt, leading to brittle-type fragmentation at the melt-water interface. Physical measurements recorded during laboratory explosion provide quantitative evidence for rhyolitic explosive MFCI. Additionally, a comparison of experimentally produced particles with natural ones from Tepexitl deposits show nearly identical chemical/ mineralogical composition, grain size, and grain morphology. Detailed textural analysis confirmed the presence of phreatomagmatically produced particles in both experimental and natural analog particles. The results from this series of experiments indicate that under natural conditions, stress-induced magma fracturing can lead to a critical magma-water-interface growths and trigger phreatomagmatic explosions of high-silica magma. The water source for these eruptions may include shallow aquifers, surface water bodies, strong precipitation, and intrusion into ice or wet, unconsolidated sediments.",
author = "A. Autin-Erickson and R. B{\"u}ttner and P. Dellino and Ort, {Michael H} and B. Zimanowski",
year = "2008",
month = "11",
day = "4",
doi = "10.1029/2008JB005731",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "113",
journal = "Journal of Geophysical Research",
issn = "0148-0227",
publisher = "American Geophysical Union",
number = "11",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Phreatomagmatic explosions of rhyolitic magma

T2 - Experimental and field evidence

AU - Autin-Erickson, A.

AU - Büttner, R.

AU - Dellino, P.

AU - Ort, Michael H

AU - Zimanowski, B.

PY - 2008/11/4

Y1 - 2008/11/4

N2 - Experimental studies on explosive molten fuel-coolant interaction (MFCI) using basaltic melt compositions and water as the coolant have provided insight into the physical processes of basaltic and andesitic phreatomagmatic volcanism. Abundant field evidence indicates that rhyolitic and dacitic phreatomagmatism occurs in nature, but it has not been possible until now to generate laboratory MFCI explosions from the interaction between high-silica melts and water under laboratory conditions. The high viscosity of these melts apparently prevents formation of an effective hydrodynamic premix of melt and water, the documented precursor of experimental explosive MFCI caused by mafic melts. Our new experiments utilized samples from a rhyolitic tuff ring volcano in Mexico (Tepexitl). An experimental approach was developed, in which premixing conditions were generated by mechanical deformation of the melt, leading to brittle-type fragmentation at the melt-water interface. Physical measurements recorded during laboratory explosion provide quantitative evidence for rhyolitic explosive MFCI. Additionally, a comparison of experimentally produced particles with natural ones from Tepexitl deposits show nearly identical chemical/ mineralogical composition, grain size, and grain morphology. Detailed textural analysis confirmed the presence of phreatomagmatically produced particles in both experimental and natural analog particles. The results from this series of experiments indicate that under natural conditions, stress-induced magma fracturing can lead to a critical magma-water-interface growths and trigger phreatomagmatic explosions of high-silica magma. The water source for these eruptions may include shallow aquifers, surface water bodies, strong precipitation, and intrusion into ice or wet, unconsolidated sediments.

AB - Experimental studies on explosive molten fuel-coolant interaction (MFCI) using basaltic melt compositions and water as the coolant have provided insight into the physical processes of basaltic and andesitic phreatomagmatic volcanism. Abundant field evidence indicates that rhyolitic and dacitic phreatomagmatism occurs in nature, but it has not been possible until now to generate laboratory MFCI explosions from the interaction between high-silica melts and water under laboratory conditions. The high viscosity of these melts apparently prevents formation of an effective hydrodynamic premix of melt and water, the documented precursor of experimental explosive MFCI caused by mafic melts. Our new experiments utilized samples from a rhyolitic tuff ring volcano in Mexico (Tepexitl). An experimental approach was developed, in which premixing conditions were generated by mechanical deformation of the melt, leading to brittle-type fragmentation at the melt-water interface. Physical measurements recorded during laboratory explosion provide quantitative evidence for rhyolitic explosive MFCI. Additionally, a comparison of experimentally produced particles with natural ones from Tepexitl deposits show nearly identical chemical/ mineralogical composition, grain size, and grain morphology. Detailed textural analysis confirmed the presence of phreatomagmatically produced particles in both experimental and natural analog particles. The results from this series of experiments indicate that under natural conditions, stress-induced magma fracturing can lead to a critical magma-water-interface growths and trigger phreatomagmatic explosions of high-silica magma. The water source for these eruptions may include shallow aquifers, surface water bodies, strong precipitation, and intrusion into ice or wet, unconsolidated sediments.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=58549084812&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=58549084812&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1029/2008JB005731

DO - 10.1029/2008JB005731

M3 - Article

VL - 113

JO - Journal of Geophysical Research

JF - Journal of Geophysical Research

SN - 0148-0227

IS - 11

M1 - B11201

ER -