Eruption intensity is largely controlled by decompression-induced release of water-rich gas dissolved in magma. It is not simply the amount of gas that dictates how forcefully magma is propelled upwards during an eruption, but also the rate of degassing, which is partly a function of the supersaturation pressure (??Pcritical) triggering gas bubble nucleation. High temperature and pressure decompression experiments using rhyolite and dacite melt reveal compositionally-dependent differences in the ??Pcritical of degassing that may explain why rhyolites have fueled some of the most explosive eruptions on record.
Additional Publication Details
Decompression experiments identify kinetic controls on explosive silicic eruptions