Evidence for degassing of fresh magma during the 2004-2008 eruption of Mount St. Helens: Subtle signals from the hydrothermal system

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
By: , and 

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Abstract

Results from chemical and isotopic analyses of water and gas collected between 2002 and 2016 from sites on and around Mount St. Helens are used to assess magmatic degassing related to the 2004-2008 eruption. During 2005 the chemistry of hot springs in The Breach of Mount St. Helens showed no obvious response to the eruption, and over the next few years, changes were subtle, giving only slight indications of perturbations in the system. By 2010 however, water chemistry, temperatures, and isotope compositions (δD and δ18O) clearly indicated some inputs of volatiles and heat associated with the eruption, but the changes were such that they could be attributed to a pre-existing, gas depleted magma. An increase of ~ 1.5‰ in the δ13C values of dissolved carbon in the springs was noted in 2006 and continued through 2009, a change that was mirrored by a similar shift in δ13C-CO2 in bubble gas emissions. These changes require input of a new source of carbon to the hydrothermal system and provide clear evidence of CO2 from an undegassed body of magma. Rising trends in 3He/4He ratios in gas also accompanied the increases in δ13C. Since 2011 maximum RC/RA values are ≥ 6.4 and are distinctly higher than 5 samples collected between 1986 and 2002, and provide additional evidence for some involvement of new magma as early as 2006, and possibly earlier, given the unknown time needed for CO2 and He to traverse the system and arrive at the springs.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Evidence for degassing of fresh magma during the 2004-2008 eruption of Mount St. Helens: Subtle signals from the hydrothermal system
Series title Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
DOI 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.06.020
Volume 343
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 13 p.
First page 109
Last page 121
Country United States
State Washington
Other Geospatial Mount St. Helens