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Contrasting Volcanic Deformation in Arc and Ocean Island Settings Due To Exsolution of Magmatic Water

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jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pTwo of the most widely observed co‐eruptive volcanic phenomena—Ground deformation and volcanic outgassing—Are fundamentally linked via the mechanism of magma degassing and the development of compressibility, which controls how the volume of magma changes in response to a change in pressure. Here we use thermodynamic models—Constrained by petrological data—To reconstruct volatile exsolution and the consequent changes in magma properties. We use the fraction of SOjats:sub2</jats:sub> exsolved during decompression to predict co‐eruptive SOjats:sub2</jats:sub> flux and magma compressibility to predict co‐eruptive surface deformation (both normalized by erupted volume). We conduct sensitivity tests using properties of typical basalts to assess how varying magma volatile content, crustal properties, and chamber geometry affect co‐eruptive deformation and degassing. We find that magmatic Hjats:sub2</jats:sub>O content has the most impact on both SOjats:sub2</jats:sub> flux and volume change. Our findings have general implications for typical basaltic systems in arc and ocean island settings. The higher water content of arc magmas makes them more compressible than ocean island magmas and leads to muted or non‐existent deformation being observed during arc eruptions. Our models are consistent with observation: Deformation has been detected during 48% of basaltic eruptions in ocean island settings (16/33) during the satellite era (2005–2020), but only 11% of basaltic eruptions in arc settings (7/61).</jats:p>


Funder: Leverhulme Trust; Id:

Funder: Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics

Funder: University of Cambridge Jesus College, University of Cambridge (Jesus College); Id:


isotopic compositions, CO2 emissions, fossil fuel combustion, source attribution, verification

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Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems

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American Geophysical Union (AGU)