The petrology and geochemistry of 2006 eruptive products of Augustine Volcano, Alaska, have been investigated through analyses of whole-rock samples, phenocrysts, silicate melt inclusions, and matrix glasses to constrain processes of magma evolution, eruption, and degassing. Particular attention was directed toward the concentrations and geochemical relationships involving the magmatic volatile components H2O, CO2, S, and Cl. The analytical results for 2006 samples have been integrated with data for samples of Pleistocene basalt, prehistoric andesites, and 1986 andesites from Augustine to provide a broad view of volatile behavior in Augustine magmas. The observation of generally similar geochemical features for this range of eruptions indicates that magmatic and volatile degassing processes have been relatively consistent during the past 2,100 years.
Augustine andesites range from low-silica to high-silica compositions and contain phenocrysts of plagioclase, orthopyroxene, and clinopyroxene, with lesser olivine, amphiboles, iron-titanium oxides, and apatite. The groundmass varies from strongly crystallized and/or oxidized to comparatively clear, microlite-poor vesicular glass. Coexisting iron-titanium oxides of 2006 rock samples, which are generally consistent with those of prior eruptive materials, indicate fO2 values of approximately NNO+1.5 to NNO+2.5 and oxide crystallization temperatures of 835 to 1,052 degree(s)C .
The compositions of matrix and melt-inclusion glasses range from rhyodacite to rhyolite and show relationships that reflect magma evolution involving fractional crystallization and multiple stages of mingling and/or mixing. In particular, melt inclusions of low-silica andesites express mixing of magmas with more widely varying compositions, than do melt inclusions of high-silica andesites and dacites. The melt inclusions of 2006, 1986, and prehistoric andesites contain moderate to high concentrations of H2O and Cl and lesser CO2 and SO2. Comparing the abundances of H2O, CO2, and Cl in these melt inclusions with experimentally established volatile solubilities for felsic melts indicates that the 2006 and prehistoric samples are most consistent with the ascent of fluid-saturated magmas containing 1 weight percent of H2O-enriched vapor under closed-system conditions and that pressures of volatile phase exsolution range from 150 to less than 20 MPa. This closed-system behavior was maintained to quite shallow depths prior to eruption, and this pressure range is consistent with constraints derived from 2006 geodetic measurements indicating magma storage and crystallization at 4 to 6 km and upwards to near-surface depths. The magmatic fluids were relatively oxidizing and included H2O-enriched and HCl-, H2S-, S2-, and SO2 + CO2-bearing vapors; hydrosaline aqueous liquids largely enriched in Cl-, SO42-, alkalis, and H2O; and moderately saline, H2O-poor liquids containing Cl-, SO42-, and alkali elements.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Augustine Volcano-The Influence of Volatile Components in Magmas Erupted A.D. 2006 to 2,100 Years Before Present