Petrological characteristics and volatile content of magma of the 1979, 1989, and 2014 eruptions of Nakadake, Aso volcano, Japan

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Abstract

Petrological observations and chemical analyses of melt inclusions in scoria were used to investigate the magma ascent and eruption processes of the 1979, 1989, and 2014 eruptions of Nakadake, Aso volcano, Japan. Major elements and sulfur contents of the melt inclusions were determined using an electron probe microanalyzer, and their water and CO 2 contents were determined using secondary ion mass spectrometry. Five scoria specimens from the 2014 eruptions had an andesite composition identical to the scoria from the 1979 and 1989 eruptions. Thermometry using the chemical composition of the groundmass and the rims of the phenocrysts indicated that the temperature of the 2014 magma was 1042–1092 °C. Melt inclusions in plagioclases, clinopyroxenes, and olivines in the 2014 scoria had an andesite composition similar to that of the groundmass. The volatile content of the melt inclusions was 0.6–0.8 wt% H 2 O, 0.003–0.017 wt% CO 2 , and 0.008–0.036 wt% S. The variation in CO 2 and S content of the melt inclusions was not correlated with the K 2 O content, suggesting that the magma degassed as pressure decreased. Melt inclusions in plagioclases, clinopyroxenes, and olivines from the 1979 and 1989 scoria had similar major elements and volatile content to the 2014 eruption specimens. The similarity in chemical composition of both the whole-rock and melt inclusions among all samples suggests that the magmas of these eruptions were derived from the same magma chamber. The gas saturation pressure estimated from the H 2 O and CO 2 contents of the 1979, 1989, and 2014 scoria ranged from 18 to 118 MPa, corresponding to depths of 1–4 km. Comparison of this depth with geophysical observations suggests that the inclusion entrapments occurred in the upper part of the magma chamber and/or a conduit. By combining the melt inclusion analysis with volcanic gas observations, we estimated the bulk volatile content of the magma. Based on the bulk sulfur content of the magma and the SO 2 flux between January 2014 and December 2017, the amount of degassed magma over that period was estimated to be the equivalent of 1–3 km 3 of dense rock. The estimated volume was more than 600 times larger than that of products erupted during the same period. This suggests that magma degassing occurred at several depths in the magma chamber due to magma convection in a conduit.[Figure not available: see fulltext.].

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Saito, G., Ishizuka, O., Ishizuka, Y., Hoshizumi, H., & Miyagi, I. (2018). Petrological characteristics and volatile content of magma of the 1979, 1989, and 2014 eruptions of Nakadake, Aso volcano, Japan. Earth, Planets and Space, 70(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40623-018-0970-x

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