Multiple melt bodies fed the AD 2011 eruption of Puyehue-Cordon Caulle, Chile

B. V. Alloway*, N. J. G. Pearce, G. Villarosa, V. Outes, P. I. Moreno

*Corresponding author for this work

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Within the volcanological community there is a growing awareness that many large-to smallscale, point-source eruptive events can be fed by multiple melt bodies rather than from a single magma reservoir. In this study, glass shard major-and trace-element compositions were determined from tephra systematically sampled from the outset of the Puyehue-Corden Caulle (PCC) eruption (similar to 1 km(3)) in southern Chile which commenced on June 4th, 2011. Three distinct but cogenetic magma bodies were simultaneously tapped during the paroxysmal phase of this eruption. These are readily identified by clear compositional gaps in CaO, and by Sr/Zr and Sr/Y ratios, resulting from dominantly plagioclase extraction at slightly different pressures, with incompatible elements controlled by zircon crystallisation. Our results clearly demonstrate the utility of glass shard major-and trace-element data in defining the contribution of multiple magma bodies to an explosive eruption. The complex spatial association of the PCC fissure zone with the Liquine-Ofqui Fault zone was likely an influential factor that impeded the ascent of the parent magma and allowed the formation of discrete melt bodies within the sub-volcanic system that continued to independently fractionate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17589
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 02 Dec 2015


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