A stress-controlled mechanism for the intensity of very large magnitude explosive eruptions
Costa, A., Gottsmann, J., Melnik, O. and Sparks, R. S. J. (2011) A stress-controlled mechanism for the intensity of very large magnitude explosive eruptions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 310 (1-2). pp. 161-166. ISSN 0012-821X
To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.07.024
Large magnitude explosive eruptions are the result of the rapid and large-scale transport of silicic magma stored in the Earth's crust, but the mechanics of erupting teratonnes of silicic magma remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that the combined effect of local crustal extension and magma chamber overpressure can sustain linear dyke-fed explosive eruptions with mass fluxes in excess of 10^10 kg/s from shallow-seated (4–6 km depth) chambers during moderate extensional stresses. Early eruption column collapse is facilitated with eruption duration of the order of few days with an intensity of at least one order of magnitude greater than the largest eruptions in the 20th century. The conditions explored in this study are one way in which high mass eruption rates can be achieved to feed large explosive eruptions. Our results corroborate geological and volcanological evidences from volcano-tectonic complexes such as the Sierra Madre Occidental (Mexico) and the Taupo Volcanic Zone (New Zealand).