Implications of silicic vent patterns for the presence of large crustal magma chambers

Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth



On the basis of the distribution of silicic vents, many volcanic fields can be grouped with (1) igneous systems that may be small and whose vent locations are controlled by regional tectonics, (2) those that include sizable crustal magma bodies which erupt at sites determined by their anomalous local stress fields, or (3) relatively small volume systems that are transitional between categories 1 and 2. Linear vent patterns that are aligned normal to the regional least principal stress (σ3) commonly are associated with absence of evidence for large, shallow magma bodies. The Coso volcanic field and the Inyo‐Mono domes in California and probably the South Sister area in Oregon are examples of such systems. The 1960 dacitic fissure eruption at Cordón Caulle in southern Chile evidently is linked to tectonic stress relaxation associated with the great earthquake that occurred 48 hours before the eruption began. Large, shallow magma chambers are thought to perturb the local stress field so that areal patterns of silicic vents are diffuse, radial, or arcuate. Such systems may erupt great volumes of pyroclastic material catastrophically and produce large calderas. Well‐preserved examples of late precaldera leaks of silicic magma occur at Long Valley, California, and Mount Mazama (Crater Lake), Oregon. Other possible examples are noted. Some of these, those which formed calderas smaller than Crater Lake, apparently were preceded by silicic eruptions from aligned vents. Bearing in mind that there exists a transitional group between tectonically controlled small systems and very large magma chambers, vent distributions can be useful in evaluating potential volcanic hazards for silicic volcanic fields.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Implications of silicic vent patterns for the presence of large crustal magma chambers
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
DOI 10.1029/JB090iB13p11243
Volume 90
Issue B13
Year Published 1985
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 11243
Last page 11252
Country United States
State California
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