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Isotopic signatures of magmatic fluids and seawater within silicic submarine volcanic deposits

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 06:34 authored by Mitchell, SJ, Hudak, MR, Bindeman, YN, Rebecca CareyRebecca Carey, McIntosh, IM, Houghton, BF, Rubin, KE
Addressing questions of magma ascent, volcanic eruption dynamics, and volatile fluxes requires accurate measurement of magmatic water concentrations in volcanic glass. Glass in volcanic rocks in the deep-sea environment can experience rehydration (addition of external water) across a range of temperatures, and from different sources (e.g., seawater and hydrothermal fluids), which can lead to overestimation of magmatic-H2O. This study used H and O isotopes (δD and δ18O) to identify sources of rehydration in pumice and lava from the deep-sea 2012 volcanic eruption of Havre volcano, Kermadec Arc, and from a variety of older (tens to thousands of years) silicic submarine deposits across the Izu-Bonin Arc and Lau Basin. We find that old seafloor pumices were rehydrated up to 6 wt.% H2O by the diffusion of cold seawater over 100s to 1000s of years, and thus, enriched in δD, bulk-δ18O, and water-in-glass (wig) δ18O up to −30‰, +9‰ and −5‰ respectively. By contrast, the young Havre deposits exhibit a much wider range of both isotopic enrichment and depletion with δD = −50 to −120‰, δ18Obulk = +5.7 to +6.2‰, and δ18Owig = −10 to +4‰, depending on the eruptive units. Using magmatic degassing and vapor δD-H2O modeling, a volatile-melt δ18O-geothermometer, and previous textural studies of Havre 2012 deposits, we identify multiple high-temperature rehydration sources, timescales, and mechanisms. δD-depleted pumices were likely rehydrated by vapor co-existing in bubbles and vesicles at temperatures around and below the glass transition (320–670 °C) over timescales of a few minutes during clast cooling above the eruptive vent. Conversely, δD-enriched Havre pumice and lava from different deposits were most likely rehydrated by heated, δD-enriched seawater at glass temperatures > 100 °C. These results provide a natural confirmation of recent experimental findings, which tackle the fundamentals of H and O diffusion and isotope exchange in silicate materials at temperatures of 100–400 °C. Addressing the effects of rehydration, and thus accuracy of H2O measurements, in volcanic glasses and crystals is important for improving our understanding of conduit processes during volcanic eruptions, and the kinetics of glass hydration and alteration.


Australian Research Council


Publication title

Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta








School of Natural Sciences


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

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The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

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Copyright 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences

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