Monogenetic volcanoes fed by interconnected dikes and sills in the Hopi Buttes volcanic field, Navajo Nation, USA

Bulletin of Volcanology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Although monogenetic volcanic fields pose hazards to major cities worldwide, their shallow magma feeders (<500 m depth) are rarely exposed and, therefore, poorly understood. Here, we investigate exposures of dikes and sills in the Hopi Buttes volcanic field, Arizona, to shed light on the nature of its magma feeder system. Shallow exposures reveal a transition zone between intrusion and eruption within 350 m of the syn-eruptive surface. Using a combination of field- and satellite-based observations, we have identified three types of shallow magma systems: (1) dike-dominated, (2) sill-dominated, and (3) interconnected dike-sill networks. Analysis of vent alignments using the pyroclastic massifs and other eruptive centers (e.g., maar-diatremes) shows a NW-SE trend, parallel to that of dikes in the region. We therefore infer that dikes fed many of the eruptions. Dikes are also observed in places transforming to transgressive (ramping) sills. Estimates of the observable volume of dikes (maximum volume of 1.90 × 106 m3) and sills (minimum volume of 8.47 × 105 m3) in this study reveal that sills at Hopi Buttes make up at least 30 % of the shallow intruded volume (∼2.75 × 106 m3 total) within 350 m of the paeosurface. We have also identified saucer-shaped sills, which are not traditionally associated with monogenetic volcanic fields. Our study demonstrates that shallow feeders in monogenetic fields can form geometrically complex networks, particularly those intruding poorly consolidated sedimentary rocks. We conclude that the Hopi Buttes eruptions were primarily fed by NW-SE-striking dikes. However, saucer-shaped sills also played an important role in modulating eruptions by transporting magma toward and away from eruptive conduits. Sill development could have been accompanied by surface uplifts on the order of decimeters. We infer that the characteristic feeder systems described here for the Hopi Buttes may underlie monogenetic fields elsewhere, particularly where magma intersects shallow, and often weak, sedimentary rocks. Results from this study support growing evidence of the important role of shallow sills in active monogenetic fields.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Monogenetic volcanoes fed by interconnected dikes and sills in the Hopi Buttes volcanic field, Navajo Nation, USA
Series title Bulletin of Volcanology
DOI 10.1007/s00445-016-1005-8
Volume 78
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description Article 11; 16 p.
First page 1
Last page 16
Country United States
State Arizona
Other Geospatial Hopi Buttes Volcanic Field