Storage and interaction of compositionally heterogeneous magmas from the 1986 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska

Bulletin of Volcanology
By: , and 



Compositional heterogeneity (56–64 wt% SiO2 whole-rock) in samples of tephra and lava from the 1986 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska, raises questions about the physical nature of magma storage and interaction beneath this young and frequently active volcano. To determine conditions of magma storage and evolutionary histories of compositionally distinct magmas, we investigate physical and chemical characteristics of andesitic and dacitic magmas feeding the 1986 eruption. We calculate equilibrium temperatures and oxygen fugacities from Fe-Ti oxide compositions and find a continuous range in temperature from 877 to 947°C and high oxygen fugacities (ΔNNO=1–2) for all magmas. Melt inclusions in pyroxene phenocrysts analyzed by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and electron probe microanalysis are dacitic to rhyolitic and have water contents ranging from <1 to ∼7 wt%. Matrix glass compositions are rhyolitic and remarkably similar (∼75.9–76.6 wt% SiO2) in all samples. All samples have ∼25% phenocrysts, but lower-silica samples have much higher microlite contents than higher-silica samples. Continuous ranges in temperature and whole-rock composition, as well as linear trends in Harker diagrams and disequilibrium mineral textures, indicate that the 1986 magmas are the product of mixing between dacitic magma and a hotter, more mafic magma. The dacitic endmember is probably residual magma from the previous (1976) eruption of Augustine, and we interpret the mafic endmember to have been intruded from depth. Mixing appears to have continued as magmas ascended towards the vent. We suggest that the physical structure of the magma storage system beneath Augustine contributed to the sustained compositional heterogeneity of this eruption, which is best explained by magma storage and interaction in a vertically extensive system of interconnected dikes rather than a single coherent magma chamber and/or conduit. The typically short repose period (∼10 years) between Augustine's recent eruptive pulses may also inhibit homogenization, as short repose periods and chemically heterogeneous magmas are observed at several volcanoes in the Cook Inlet region of Alaska.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Storage and interaction of compositionally heterogeneous magmas from the 1986 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska
Series title Bulletin of Volcanology
DOI 10.1007/s00445-005-0003-z
Volume 68
Issue 3
Year Published 2006
Language English
Publisher Springer International
Contributing office(s) Volcano Hazards Program
Description 15 p.
First page 240
Last page 254
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Augustine Volcano
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