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Within the neovolcanic zones of Iceland many volcanoes grew upward through icecaps that have subsequently melted. These steep-walled and flat-topped basaltic subglacial volcanoes, called tuyas, are composed of a lower sequence of subaqueously erupted, pillowed lavas overlain by breccias and hyaloclastites produced by phreatomagmatic explosions in shallow water, capped by a subaerially erupted lava plateau. Glass and whole-rock analyses of samples collected from six tuyas indicate systematic variations in major elements showing that the individual volcanoes are monogenetic, and that commonly the tholeiitic magmas differentiated and became more evolved through the course of the eruption that built the tuya. At Herdubreid, the most extensively studies tuya, the upward change in composition indicates that more than 50 wt.% of the first erupted lavas need crystallize over a range of 60??C to produce the last erupted lavas. The S content of glass commonly decreases upward in the tuyas from an average of about 0.08 wt.% at the base to < 0.02 wt.% in the subaerially erupted lava at the top, and is a measure of the depth of water (or ice) above the eruptive vent. The extensive subsurface crystallization that generates the more evolved, lower-temperature melts during the growth of the tuyas, apparently results from cooling and degassing of magma contained in shallow magma chambers and feeders beneath the volcanoes. Cooling may result from percolation of meltwater down cracks, vaporization, and cycling in a hydrothermal circulation. Degassing occurs when progressively lower pressure eruption (as the volcanic vent grows above the ice/water surface) lowers the volatile vapour pressure of subsurface melt, thus elevating the temperature of the liquidus and hastening liquid-crystal differentiation. ?? 1991.
Additional Publication Details
Degassing and differentiation in subglacial volcanoes, Iceland