New geochemical insights into volcanic degassing

Edmonds, M. (2008) New geochemical insights into volcanic degassing. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 366 (1885). pp. 4559-4579.

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Magma degassing plays a fundamental role in controlling the style of volcanic eruptions. Whether a volcanic eruption is explosive, or effusive, is of crucial importance to approximately 500 million people living in the shadow of hazardous volcanoes worldwide. Studies of how gases exsolve and separate from magma prior to and during eruptions have been given new impetus by the emergence of more accurate and automated methods to measure volatile species both as volcanic gases and dissolved in the glasses of erupted products. The composition of volcanic gases is dependent on a number of factors, the most important being magma composition and the depth of gas–melt segregation prior to eruption; this latter parameter has proved difficult to constrain in the past, yet is arguably the most critical for controlling eruptive style. Spectroscopic techniques operating in the infrared have proved to be of great value in measuring the composition of gases at high temporal resolution. Such methods, when used in tandem with microanalytical geochemical investigations of erupted products, are leading to better constraints on the depth at which gases are generated and separated from magma. A number of recent studies have focused on transitions between explosive and effusive activity and have led to a better understanding of gas–melt segregation at basaltic volcanoes. Other studies have focused on degassing during intermediate and silicic eruptions. Important new results include the recognition of fluxing by deep-derived gases, which buffer the amount of dissolved volatiles in the melt at shallow depths, and the observation of gas flow up permeable conduit wall shear zones, which may be the primary mechanism for gas loss at the cusp of the most explosive and unpredictable volcanic eruptions. In this paper, I review current and future directions in the field of geochemical studies of volcanic degassing processes and illustrate how the new insights are beginning to change the way in which we understand and classify volcanic eruptions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 08AREP 2008 P IA57
Subjects: 05 - Petrology - Igneous, Metamorphic and Volcanic Studies
Divisions: 05 - Petrology - Igneous, Metamorphic and Volcanic Studies
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Volume: 366
Page Range: pp. 4559-4579
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2009 13:02
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:06

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