Degassing of the 1912 Katmai magmas

H. R. Westrich, J. C. Eichelberger, Richard Hervig

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    48 Scopus citations


    Pre‐ and post‐eruptive H2O, F, Cl, and S contents of the three 1912 Katmai magmas were inferred from analyses of melt inclusions and matrix glasses in tephra samples. With increasing silica content (andesite⇒rhyolite), pre‐emptive melt H2O increases from ≥1.0 to 3.8 wt.%, Cl increases slightly from 1700 to 1900 ppm, S decreases from 170 to ≤65 ppm, and F remains constant at 550 ppm. These variations are not consistent with a simple crystal fractionation relationship. For plausible chamber depths, the magmas were vapor undersaturated during storage and fragmented during the last few hundred meters of ascent, consistent with geologic evidence for excavation of the vent funnel within the upper 1 km. Vitrophyres of welded intravent fallback tephra ejected late in the eruption show that extensive degassing and complete welding could take place in less than the 60‐hour eruptive period. Release of HCl was twice that of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens while H2SO4 output was comparable to that of the 3.5 ka Santorini eruption. Significant retention of Cl and F, which would be released along with residual H2O during high‐temperature devitrification, may explain the important vapor transport that occurred in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes fumaroles following emplacement of the ignimbrite.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1561-1564
    Number of pages4
    JournalGeophysical Research Letters
    Issue number8
    StatePublished - Aug 1991

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geophysics
    • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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