Months between rejuvenation and volcanic eruption at Yellowstone caldera, Wyoming

Christy Till, Jorge A. Vazquez, Jeremy W. Boyce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rejuvenation of previously intruded silicic magma is an important process leading to effusive rhyolite, which is the most common product of volcanism at calderas with protracted histories of eruption and unrest such as Yellowstone caldera (Wyoming), Long Valley caldera (California), and Valles caldera (New Mexico) in the United States. Although orders of magnitude smaller in volume than rare caldera-forming supereruptions, these relatively frequent effusions of rhyolite are comparable to the largest eruptions of the 20th century, and pose a considerable volcanic hazard. However, the physical pathway from rejuvenation to eruption of silicic magma is unclear, particularly because the time between reheating of a subvolcanic intrusion and eruption is poorly quantified. This study uses nanometer-scale trace element diffusion in sanidine crystals to reveal that rejuvenation of a near-solidus or subsolidus silicic intrusion occurred in ~10 mo or less following a protracted period (220 k.y.) of volcanic repose, and resulted in effusion of ~3 km3 of high-silica rhyolite lava at the onset of Yellowstone's last volcanic interval. The future renewal of effusive silicic volcanism at Yellowstone will likely require a comparable energetic intrusion of magma that remelts the shallow subvolcanic reservoir and generates eruptible rhyolite on month to annual time scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-698
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume43
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

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caldera
rhyolite
volcanic eruption
magma
volcanism
sanidine
lava
energetics
silica
hazard
trace element
crystal
timescale
valley
history

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

Cite this

Months between rejuvenation and volcanic eruption at Yellowstone caldera, Wyoming. / Till, Christy; Vazquez, Jorge A.; Boyce, Jeremy W.

In: Geology, Vol. 43, No. 8, 2015, p. 695-698.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Till, Christy ; Vazquez, Jorge A. ; Boyce, Jeremy W. / Months between rejuvenation and volcanic eruption at Yellowstone caldera, Wyoming. In: Geology. 2015 ; Vol. 43, No. 8. pp. 695-698.
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