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Effect of host-rock rheology on dyke shape, thickness and magma overpressure
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Geophysics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Geophysics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4005-9990
2017 (English)In: Geophysical Journal International, ISSN 0956-540X, E-ISSN 1365-246X, Vol. 208, no 3, p. 1414-1429Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The size and thickness of dykes is of fundamental importance for volcano dynamics because dykes are the primary path for magma transport, and because large numbers of dykes often comprise a major proportion of the volcanic edifice and of the underlying crust. Standard elastic models predict dyke geometry to be elliptic in cross-section for constant overpressure and uniform host-rock properties, whereas observations show that dyke thickness is typically more nearly constant with a sharp taper at the ends. Moreover, the predicted overpressures required to inflate dykes in a purely elastic medium are often significantly higher (> 150 MPa and up to 2 GPa) than those estimated by other means (about 1-50 MPa). In this study, we use 2-D finite element models to test whether other host-rock rheologies lead to more realistic dyke shapes and overpressures. We examine three different rheologies, each of which is affected by the presence of the dyke itself: (1) elasticity with reduced moduli in regions of low pressure or tension; (2) elastoplasticity with plastic failure in the high-stress regions surrounding the dyke tips; (3) viscoelasticity with a viscosity decrease due to heating by the dyke. We use rheological parameters obtained from laboratory experiments whenever possible, and assume static conditions for the final dyke shape. We find that all three rheologies tend to make the dyke more rectangular relative to the elliptical dykes of the linearly elastic models. The change in shape is due to enhanced deformation in the high-stress zone surrounding the dyke tip. We also find that the overpressure required to inflate an initially thin dyke to a given thickness is reduced for all three rheologies. The greatest decrease in overpressure by a factor of about 0.1 is observed for the elastoplastic model, and for the viscoelastic model if the dyke intrudes into moderately pre-heated host-rock. We discuss our results with respect to dyke observations from Rum Island (Scotland) and use these as a guide to evaluate our models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
OXFORD UNIV PRESS , 2017. Vol. 208, no 3, p. 1414-1429
Keywords [en]
Numerical solutions, Plasticity, diffusion, and creep, Elasticity and anelasticity, Mechanics, theory and modelling, Rheology: crust and lithosphere, Physics of magma and magma bodies
National Category
Geophysics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-320845DOI: 10.1093/gji/ggw448ISI: 000396818900012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-320845DiVA, id: diva2:1091367
Available from: 2017-04-26 Created: 2017-04-26 Last updated: 2017-04-26Bibliographically approved

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Vachon, RemiHieronymus, Christoph F.

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