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Unexpected large eruptions from buoyant magma bodies within viscoelastic crust

Unexpected large eruptions from buoyant magma bodies within viscoelastic crust

Title: Unexpected large eruptions from buoyant magma bodies within viscoelastic crust
Author: Sigmundsson, Freysteinn   orcid.org/0000-0001-9052-4665
Pinel, Virginie
Grapenthin, Ronni
Hooper, Andrew
Halldórsson, Sæmundur Ari   orcid.org/0000-0002-4724-8578
Einarsson, Páll   orcid.org/0000-0002-6893-9626
Ófeigsson, Benedikt G.
Heimisson, Elias   orcid.org/0000-0001-8342-7226
Jónsdóttir, Kristín
Gudmundsson, Magnus Tumi   orcid.org/0000-0001-5325-3368
... 10 more authors Show all authors
Date: 2020-05-15
Language: English
Scope: 2403
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Verkfræði- og náttúruvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Engineering and Natural Sciences (UI)
Department: Jarðvísindastofnun (HÍ)
Institute of Earth Sciences (UI)
Series: Nature Communications;11(1)
ISSN: 2041-1723
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-16054-6
Subject: Buoyant magma; Volcanic eruption; Plastic deformation; Bergkvika; Eldgos; Jarðskorpa
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2150

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Sigmundsson, F., Pinel, V., Grapenthin, R. et al. Unexpected large eruptions from buoyant magma bodies within viscoelastic crust. Nature Communications 11, 2403 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16054-6


Large volume effusive eruptions with relatively minor observed precursory signals are at odds with widely used models to interpret volcano deformation. Here we propose a new modelling framework that resolves this discrepancy by accounting for magma buoyancy, viscoelastic crustal properties, and sustained magma channels. At low magma accumulation rates, the stability of deep magma bodies is governed by the magma-host rock density contrast and the magma body thickness. During eruptions, inelastic processes including magma mush erosion and thermal effects, can form a sustained channel that supports magma flow, driven by the pressure difference between the magma body and surface vents. At failure onset, it may be difficult to forecast the final eruption volume; pressure in a magma body may drop well below the lithostatic load, create under-pressure and initiate a caldera collapse, despite only modest precursors.


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