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Magma mixing and forced exsolution of CO2 during the explosive 2007-2008 eruption of Oldoinyo Lengai (Tanzania)
2014 (English)In: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, ISSN 0377-0273, E-ISSN 1872-6097, Vol. 285, p. 229-246Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Oldoinyo Lengai is probably most famous for being the only active volcano on Earth which is erupting natrocarbonatitic magma. However, the mildly explosive natrocarbonatitic activity is alternating with highly explosive, nephelinitic eruptions of which the most recent episode occurred in September 2007 (and lasted until April 2008). Here we present petrographic observations, mineral chemistry as well as major- and trace element analyses of samples covering the evolution of the eruption with time. In the early phases of the eruption, the phenocryst assemblages are dominated by the carbonate minerals nyerereite and gregoryite, but as the eruption progresses the mineralogy becomes dominated by silicate minerals like nepheline, pyroxene, garnet, alumoakermanite, combeite and wollastonite. The observed major- and trace element variations during the 2007-2008 eruption indicate mixing between a natrocarbonatitic magma and a combeite-wollastonite-bearing nephelinitic magma (CWN), with higher portions of natrocarbonatite in the early stages of the eruption. Euhedral and uncorroded clinopyroxene crystals are abundant in the late 2007 deposits but quickly start to break-down and corrode as the eruption continues, indicating that the natrocarbonatite and the CWN are not in fact conjugate magmas derived from a single magma reservoir, but must have evolved separately in the crust from the point of immiscibility. When these magmas interact beneath the volcano, a hybrid silicate magma forms (where clinopyroxene is no longer stable) and the composition of this hybrid causes the overall solubility of CO2 in the system to decrease drastically. This results in rapid exsolution of CO2 (g) which is allowed to expand during ascent, and we conclude that this is most likely the reason behind the unexpected vigor in the explosive eruptions of Oldoinyo Lengai. This massive release of CO2 during ascent may also explain the petrographic features of the pyroclasts as these are dominated by near-spherical droplets with moderate vesicularities, indicative of being transported in a hot gas-stream/jet in the upper conduit and forming an aerosol-type spray. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 285, p. 229-246
National Category
Geochemistry Geology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-375159DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2014.08.017OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-375159DiVA, id: diva2:1283093
Available from: 2019-01-28 Created: 2019-01-28 Last updated: 2019-01-28

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