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Relationship between eruption volume and neodymium isotopic composition at Unzen volcano

Nature volume 362, pages 831834 (29 April 1993) | Download Citation

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Abstract

SILICA-rich lavas, erupted at island-arc or continental volcanoes, are often produced by a complex process involving the assimilation of crust into a crystallizing, mantle-derived basaltic magma1. The different strontium, neodymium and oxygen isotopic compositions of mantle-derived magmas and continental crust provide a powerful method for tracing the different contributions to continental silicic magmas, and for understanding the parameters controlling the composition and volume of erupted magma1–4. In the large rhyolite eruptive centres of the western United States, the largest-volume, explosive rhyolite eruptions have more mantle-like Nd isotope ratios than other silicic lavas from the same centre2–4, a relationship that has been interpreted as reflecting increased influx of mantle-derived basaltic magma to a crustal magma chamber before large-volume eruptions1. Here we report isotope data for lavas from Unzen volcano, which suggest a similar relationship: the Nd isotope composition is more mantle-like in three larger-volume dacite eruptions (>0.1 km3) than in one small-volume (0.02 km3) eruption. We accordingly suggest that, in small-volume systems like Unzen, where the timescales for magma-chamber evolution are of the order of decades, isotope data such as those presented here might be used in volcanic hazard evaluation.

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Affiliations

  1. Center for Isotope Geochemistry, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of California and Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA

    • Chang-Hwa Chen
    •  & Donald J. DePaolo
  2. Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, PO Box 23–59, Taipei, Taiwan 10764

    • Chang-Hwa Chen
  3. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812, Japan

    • Setsuya Nakada
  4. Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907

    • Yuch-Ning Shieh

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https://doi.org/10.1038/362831a0

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