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Storage conditions and dynamics of magma reservoirs feeding the major pumiceous eruptions of Dominica (Lesser Antilles arc)


IPGP - Îlot Cuvier


Soutenances de thèses


Clara Solaro

Systèmes Volcaniques (GSV)

Large silicic eruptions (tens to hundreds of km3 /eruption) have been a main subject of study for modern volcanology as they represent volcanic events of great impact on environment and human settlement on Earth. Petrologists have demonstrated that the crystal “cargo” of these eruptions can be used to unravel the pre-eruptive dynamic of their magmatic plumbing system and constrain timescales of the related magmatic processes. Specifically, several studies have proved that this “crystal cargo” can be remobilized and brought to eruption in short timescales of decades to centuries, making these systems more dynamic than previously believed. Several ignimbritic eruptions with a volume of the order of ~10 km3 have been recognized in Dominica (Lesser Antilles arc). On the basis of a detailed chronostratigraphy of the deposits, we present an integrated petrological study of the plinian fallout deposit of the latest three ignimbritic eruptions of Layou (~51kyrs cal BP), Roseau (~33kyrs cal BP) and Grand Fond (~24kyrs cal BP). We combine natural and experimental petrology to investigate the prevailing storage conditions within the reservoir that fed each eruption. Whole rocks are all dacites with crystal contents of ~30%, comprising plagioclase (An50-78), orthopyroxene (En47-63), clinopyroxene (Wo44-45), amphibole (Mg# 0.52-0.60) and Fe-Ti oxide (Mag71-75 and Ilm86-87) and rhyolitic residual melt. Pre-eruptive storage conditions of 850 (±5) °C, 400 MPa (16 km depth), ~NNO+1 and melt water content of ~6-8wt% were determined for all studied eruptions through phase equilibria experiments. Orthopyroxenes were used to investigate the architecture and pre-eruptive dynamics of the plumbing system through a crystal system analysis (CSA) combined to a Fe-Mg diffusion modelling. Textural and chemical features of analysed orthopyroxenes prove that for all eruptions ~80-85% of crystals are unzoned while 15-20% present clear normal, reverse and multiple zoning, with reverse zoning being prevalent. Unzoned crystals represent the main magmatic environment (ME) while reverse zoned ones suggest a pre-eruptive perturbation of the reservoir. 4 MEs are evidenced, with a main movement of crystals towards MEs of less evolved composition, linked with the observed reverse zoning. Nevertheless, major element composition of orthopyroxene-hosted melt inclusions shows that all MEs are in equilibrium with the same melt. Combining results on natural and experimental petrology we can define the reservoirs as a highly crystalline (~30%), moderately cold (850°C) and highly oxidized (~NNO+1) environment with 80-85% of unzoned orthopyroxenes, and 15-20% of zoned orthopyroxenes recording record a heating process of 25-30°C, possibly produced by an underplating hotter magma that is responsible of the rejuvenation of the reservoir. By modelling the diffusional relaxation of Fe-Mg chemical gradient on zoned orthopyroxenes, we argue that this heating occurs in short timescales of ~10 years prior to each eruption. This heating process develops, over the considered eruptive time, a plume heating geometry able to bring together, on the scale of the hand sample, crystals of different magmatic environments (MEs).