Evolution of the caldera-forming eruption at Crater Lake, Oregon, indicated by component analysis of lithic fragments

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Abstract

Quantitative study of lithic fragments in the ejecta confirms the existing model of changes in vent configuration during the climactic eruption of Mount Mazama. Initial activity was from a single vent that produced a rhyodacite pumice fall from a Plinian column. The Wineglass Welded Tuff lies atop the Plinian deposit and contains a higher proportion of fresh volcanic rocks, suggesting enlargement of the single vent by slumping of its walls. This same vent enlargement caused the Plinian eruption column to collapse and feed valley-hugging pyroclastic flows that deposited the Wineglass Welded Tuff. When enough material was erupted from the shallow magma chamber that its roof was no longer adequately supported, Mount Mazama collapsed to form the caldera, while highly energetic pyroclastic flows produced the climactic ignimbrite. A lag breccia that represents the proximal facies of the compositionally zoned climactic ignimbrite lies atop the Wineglass Welded Tuff. -from Authors

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Suzuki-Kamata, K., Kamata, H., & Bacon, C. R. (1993). Evolution of the caldera-forming eruption at Crater Lake, Oregon, indicated by component analysis of lithic fragments. Journal of Geophysical Research, 98(B8). https://doi.org/10.1029/93jb00934

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