Tracing pre-eruptive magma degassing using (Pb-210/Ra-226) disequilibria in the volcanic deposits of the 1980-1986 eruption of Mount St. Helens
Berlo, K., Turner, S., Blundy, J., Black, S. and Hawkesworth, C. (2006) Tracing pre-eruptive magma degassing using (Pb-210/Ra-226) disequilibria in the volcanic deposits of the 1980-1986 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 249 (3-4). pp. 337-349. ISSN 0012-821X
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2006.07.018
Disequilibria between Pb-210 and Ra-226 can be used to trace magma degassing, because the intermediate nuclides, particularly Rn-222, are volatile. Products of the 1980-1986 eruptions of Mount St. Helens have been analysed for (Pb-210/Ra-226). Both excesses and deficits of Pb-210 are encountered suggesting rapid gas transfer. The time scale of diffuse, non-eruptive gas escape prior to 1980 as documented by Pb-210 deficits is on the order of a decade using the model developed by Gauthier and Condomines (Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 172 (1999) 111-126) for a non-renewed magma chamber and efficient Rn removal. The time required to build-up Pb-210 excess is much shorter (months) as can be observed from steady increases of (Pb-210/Ra-226) with time during 1980-1982. The formation of Pb-210 excess requires both rapid gas transport through the magma and periodic blocking of gas escape routes. Superposed on this time trend is the natural variability of (Pb-210/Ra-226) in a single eruption caused by tapping magma from various depths. The two time scales of gas transport, to create both Pb-210 deficits and Pb-210 excesses, cannot be reconciled in a single event. Rather Pb-210 deficits are associated with pre-eruptive diffuse degassing, while Pb-210 excesses document the more vigorous degassing associated with eruption and recharge of the system. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.