Tephra glass chemistry provides storage and discharge details of five magma reservoirs which fed the 75 ka Youngest Toba Tuff eruption, northern Sumatra

Nick Pearce, John A. Westgate, Guilherme A. R. Gualda, Emma Gatti, Ros F. Muhammad

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Abstract

The Youngest Toba Tuff contains five distinct glass populations, identified from Ba, Sr and Y compositions, termed PI (lowest Ba) – PV (highest Ba), representing five compositionally distinct pre‐eruptive magma batches that fed the eruption. The PI–PV compositions display systematic changes, with higher FeO, CaO, MgO, TiO2 and lower incompatible element concentrations in the low‐SiO2 PIV/PV, than the high‐SiO2 PI–PIII compositions. Glass shard abundances indicate PIV and PV were the least voluminous magma batches, and PI and PIII the most voluminous. Pressure estimates using rhyolite‐MELTS indicate PV magma equilibrated at ~6 km, and PI magma at ~3.8 km. Glass population proportions in distal tephra and proximal (caldera‐wall) material describe an eruption which commenced by emptying the deepest PIV and PV reservoirs, this being preferentially deposited in a narrow band across southern India (possibly due to jet‐stream and/or plinian eruption transport), and as abundant pumice clasts in the lowermost proximal ignimbrites. Later, shallower magma reservoirs erupted, with PI being the most abundant as the eruption ended, sourcing the majority of distal ash from co‐ignimbrite clouds (PI‐ and PIII‐dominant), where associated ignimbrites isolated earlier (PIV‐ and PV‐rich) deposits. This study shows how analysis of tephra glass compositional data can yield pre‐eruption magma volume estimates, and enable aspects of magma storage conditions and eruption dynamics to be described
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-271
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Volume35
Issue number1-2
Early online date14 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • geobarometry
  • glass shard chemistry
  • magma storage
  • rhyolite
  • tephrochronology
  • Youngest Toba Tuff
  • Geobarometry

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