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  • Copernicus  (7)
  • 2010-2014  (7)
  • 2000-2004
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  • 2010-2014  (7)
  • 2000-2004
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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2013-06-19
    Description: We studied three-dimensional (3-D) vesicle size distributions by X-ray microtomography in scoria collected during the relatively quiescent Phase II of the 2010 eruption at Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Iceland. Our goal was to compare the vesicle size distributions (VSDs) measured in these samples with those found in Stromboli volcano, Italy. Stromboli was chosen because its VSDs are well-characterized and show a correlation with eruption intensity: typical Strombolian activity produces VSDs with power-law exponents near 1, whereas larger and more energetic Vulcanian-type explosions and Plinian eruptions produce VSDs with power-law exponents near 1.5. The hypothesis to be tested was whether or not the samples studied in this work would contain VSDs similar to normal Strombolian products, display higher power-law exponents, or be described by exponential functions. Before making this comparison we tested the hypothesis that the phreatomagmatic nature of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption might have a significant effect on the VSDs. We performed 1 atm bubble-growth experiments in which the samples were inundated with water and compared them to similar, control, experiments without water inundation. No significant differences between the VSDs of the two sets of experiments were found, and the hypothesis is not supported by the experimental evidence; therefore, VSDs of magmatic and phreatomagmatic eruptions can be directly compared. The Phase II Eyjafjallajökull VSDs are described by power law exponents of ~ 0.8, typical of normal Strombolian eruptions. The comparable VSDs and behavior of Phase II of the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 eruption to Stromboli are interpreted to be a reflection of similar conduit systems in both volcanoes that are being constantly fed by the ascent of deep magma that mixes with resident magma at shallow depths. Such behavior implies that continued activity during Phase II of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption could be expected and would have been predicted, had our VSDs been measured in real time during the eruption. However, the products studied show no peculiar feature that could herald renewed eruption intensity observed in the following Phase III of the eruption.
    Electronic ISSN: 1869-9537
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2013-10-18
    Description: We studied three-dimensional (3-D) vesicle size distributions by X-ray microtomography in scoria collected during the relatively quiescent Phase II of the April–May 2010 eruption at Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Iceland. Our goal was to compare cumulative vesicle size distributions (VSDs) measured in these samples with those found in Stromboli volcano, Italy. Stromboli was chosen because its VSDs are well-characterized and show a correlation with eruption intensity: typical Strombolian activity produces VSDs with power-law exponents near 1, whereas larger and more energetic vulcanian-type explosions and Plinian eruptions produce VSDs with power-law exponents near 1.5. The first hypothesis to be tested was whether or not the samples studied in this work would contain VSDs similar to normal Strombolian products, display higher power-law exponents, or be described by exponential functions. Before making this comparison, we tested a second hypothesis, which was that the magma–water interactions in the Eyjafjallajökull eruption might have a significant effect on the VSDs. We performed 1 bar bubble-growth experiments in which the samples were inundated with water and compared them to similar control experiments without water inundation. No significant differences between the VSDs of the two sets of experiments were found, and the second hypothesis is not supported by the experimental evidence. The Phase II Eyjafjallajökull VSDs are described by power-law exponents of ~0.8, typical of normal Strombolian eruptions, and support the first hypothesis. The comparable VSDs and behavior of Phase II of the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 eruption to Stromboli are interpreted to be a reflection of similar conduit systems in both volcanoes that are being constantly fed by the ascent of mingled/mixed magma from depth. Such behavior implies that continued activity during Phase II of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption could be expected and would have been predicted, had our VSDs been measured in real time during the eruption. However, the products studied show no peculiar feature that could herald the renewed eruption intensity observed in the following Phase III of the eruption.
    Print ISSN: 1869-9510
    Electronic ISSN: 1869-9529
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2010-07-01
    Description: In the period from January to June 2000 Mt. Etna exhibited an exceptional explosive activity characterized by a succession of 64 Strombolian and fire-fountaining episodes from the summit South-East Crater. Textural analysis of the eruptive products reveals that the magma associated with the Strombolian phases had a much larger crystal content (〉55 vol%) with respect to the magma discharged during the fire-fountain phases (~35 vol%). Rheological modelling shows that the crystal-rich magma falls in a region beyond a critical crystal content where small addition of solid particles causes an exponential increase of the effective magma viscosity. When implemented into the modeling of steady magma ascent dynamics (as assumed for the fire-fountain activity), a large crystal content as the one found for products of Strombolian eruption phases results in a one order of magnitude decrease of mass flow-rate, and in the onset of conditions where small heterogeneities in the solid fraction carried by the magma translate into highly unsteady eruption dynamics. We argue that crystallization on top of the magmatic column during the intermediate phases when magma was not discharged favoured conditions corresponding to Strombolian activity, with fire-fountain activity resuming after removal of the highly crystalline top. The numerical simulations also provide a consistent interpretation of the association between fire-fountain activity and emergence of lava flows from the crater flanks.
    Print ISSN: 1869-9510
    Electronic ISSN: 1869-9529
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 4
  • 5
    Publication Date: 2012-03-13
    Description: A submarine eruption started off the south coast of El Hierro, Canary Islands, on 10 October 2011 and continues at the time of this writing (February 2012). In the first days of the event, peculiar eruption products were found floating on the sea surface, drifting for long distances from the eruption site. These specimens, which have in the meantime been termed "restingolites" (after the close-by village of La Restinga), appeared as black volcanic "bombs" that exhibit cores of white and porous pumice-like material. Since their brief appearance, the nature and origin of these "floating stones" has been vigorously debated among researchers, with important implications for the interpretation of the hazard potential of the ongoing eruption. The "restingolites" have been proposed to be either (i) juvenile high-silica magma (e.g. rhyolite), (ii) remelted magmatic material (trachyte), (iii) altered volcanic rock, or (iv) reheated hyaloclastites or zeolite from the submarine slopes of El Hierro. Here, we provide evidence that supports yet a different conclusion. We have analysed the textures and compositions of representative "restingolites" and compared the results to previous work on similar rocks found in the Canary Islands. Based on their high-silica content, the lack of igneous trace element signatures, the presence of remnant quartz crystals, jasper fragments and carbonate as well as wollastonite (derived from thermal overprint of carbonate) and their relatively high oxygen isotope values, we conclude that "restingolites" are in fact xenoliths from pre-island sedimentary layers that were picked up and heated by the ascending magma, causing them to partially melt and vesiculate. As they are closely resembling pumice in appearance, but are xenolithic in origin, we refer to these rocks as "xeno-pumice". The El Hierro xeno-pumices hence represent messengers from depth that help us to understand the interaction between ascending magma and crustal lithologies beneath the Canary Islands as well as in similar Atlantic islands that rest on sediment-covered ocean crust (e.g. Cape Verdes, Azores). The occurrence of "restingolites" indicates that crustal recycling is a relevant process in ocean islands, too, but does not herald the arrival of potentially explosive high-silica magma in the active plumbing system beneath El Hierro.
    Print ISSN: 1869-9510
    Electronic ISSN: 1869-9529
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2011-12-01
    Description: The eruption that started off the south coast of El Hierro, Canary Islands, in October 2011 has emitted intriguing eruption products found floating in the sea. These specimens appeared as floating volcanic "bombs" that have in the meantime been termed "restingolites" (after the close-by village of La Restinga) and exhibit cores of white and porous pumice-like material. Currently the nature and origin of these "floating stones" is vigorously debated among researchers, with important implications for the interpretation of the hazard potential of the ongoing eruption. The "restingolites" have been proposed to be either (i) juvenile high-silica magma (e.g. rhyolite), (ii) remelted magmatic material (trachyte), (iii) altered volcanic rock, or (iv) reheated hyaloclastites or zeolite from the submarine slopes of El Hierro. Here, we provide evidence that supports yet a different conclusion. We have collected and analysed the structure and composition of samples and compared the results to previous work on similar rocks found in the archipelago. Based on their high silica content, the lack of igneous trace element signatures, and the presence of remnant quartz crystals, jasper fragments and carbonate relicts, we conclude that "restingolites" are in fact xenoliths from pre-island sedimentary rocks that were picked up and heated by the ascending magma causing them to partially melt and vesiculate. They hence represent messengers from depth that help us to understand the interaction between ascending magma and crustal lithologies in the Canary Islands as well as in similar Atlantic islands that rest on sediment/covered ocean crust (e.g. Cape Verdes, Azores). The occurrence of these "restingolites" does therefore not indicate the presence of an explosive high-silica magma that is involved in the ongoing eruption.
    Electronic ISSN: 1869-9537
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2010-02-19
    Description: In the period from January to June 2000 Mt. Etna exhibited an exceptional explosive activity characterised by a succession of 64 Strombolian and fire-fountaining episodes from the summit South-East crater. Textural analysis of the eruptive products reveals that the magma associated with the Strombolian phases had a much larger crystal content 〉55 vol% with respect to the magma discharged during the fire-fountain phases (~35 vol%). Rheological modelling shows that the crystal-rich magma falls in a region beyond a critical crystal content where the small addition of solid particles causes an exponential increase of the effective magma viscosity. When implemented into the modelling of steady magma ascent dynamics, the large crystal content of the Strombolian eruption phases results in a one order of magnitude decrease of mass flow-rate, and in the onset of conditions where small heterogeneities in the solid fraction carried by the magma translate into highly unsteady eruption dynamics. Therefore, we argue that crystallization on top of the magmatic column during the intermediate phases when magma was not discharged caused the conditions to shift from fire-fountain to Strombolian activity. The numerical simulations also provide a consistent interpretation of the association between fire-fountain activity and emergence of lava flows from the crater flanks.
    Electronic ISSN: 1869-9537
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
    Location Call Number Expected Availability
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