University Of Tasmania

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Arrival of extremely volatile-rich high-Mg magmas changes explosivity of Mount Etna

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 21:32 authored by Vadim KamenetskyVadim Kamenetsky, Pompilio, M, Metrich, N, Sobolev, AV, Kuzmin, DV, Thomas, R
The volcanic hazard potential of Mount Etna volcano is currently nourished by long-lasting, powerful eruptions of basaltic magmas coupled with increased seismicity and ground deformation, and the world's largest discharge of volcanic gases. The current evolutionary cycle of Mount Etna activity is consistent with subduction-related chemical modifications of the mantle source. Arrival of a new mantle-derived magma batch beneath the volcano has been hypothesized, but is still elusive among the erupted products. Here we demonstrate petrological and geochemical affinities between the magmas supplying modern eruptions and high-Mg, fall-stratified (FS) basalts ejected violently ∼4 k.y. ago. The FS primitive magmas (∼13 wt% MgO) are characteristically volatile enriched (at least 3.8 wt% H2O and 3300 ppm CO2), and bear a trace element signature of a garnet-bearing, metasomatized source (high Gd/Yb, K/La, U/Nb, Pb/Ce, Ca/Al). They started crystalizing olivine (Fo91), clinopyroxene (Mg# 92.5), and Cr spinel deep in the plumbing system (>5 kbar), contributing to the cumulate piles at depth and to differentiated alkaline basalt and trachybasalt magmas in the shallow conduit. Continuous influx of mantle-derived, volatile-rich magmas, such as those that supplied the FS fallout, provides a good explanation for major compositional and eruptive features of Mount Etna. © 2007 Geological Society of America.


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School of Natural Sciences


Geological Society of America

Place of publication

Boulder, Colorado, USA

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Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences

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