Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The 14 ka Puketarata eruption of Maroa caldera in Taupo Volcanic Zone was a dome-related event in which the bulk of the 0.25 km3 of eruption products were emplaced as phreatomagmatic fall and surge deposits. A rhyolitic dike encountered shallow groundwater during emplacement along a NE-trending normal fault, leading to shallow-seated explosions characterised by low to moderate water/magma ratios. The eruption products consist of two lava domes, a proximal tuff ring, three phreatic collapse craters, and a widespread fall deposit. The pyroclastic deposits contain dominantly dense juvenile clasts and few foreign lithics, and relate to very shallow-level disruption of the growing dome and its feeder dike with relatively little involvement of country rock. The distal fall deposit, representing 88% of the eruption products is, despite its uniform appearance and apparently subplinian dispersal, a composite feature equivalent to numerous discrete proximal phreatomagmatic lapilli fall layers, each deposited from a short-lived eruption column. The Puketarata products are subdivided into four units related to successive phases of:(A) shallow lava intrusion and initial dome growth; (B) rapid growth and destruction of dome lobes; (C) slower, sustained dome growth and restriction of explosive disruption to the dome margins; and (D) post-dome withdrawal of magma and crater-collapse. Phase D was phreatic, phases A and C had moderate water: magma ratios, and phase B a low water: magma ratio. Dome extrusion was most rapid during phase B, but so was destruction, and hence dome growth was largely accomplished during phase C. The Puketarata eruption illustrates how vent geometry and the presence of groundwater may control the style of silicic volcanism. Early activity was dominated by these external influences and sustained dome growth only followed after effective exclusion of external water from newly emplaced magma.
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