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Monitoring the magmas fuelling volcanic eruptions in near-real-time using x-ray micro-computed tomography

Pankhurst, M.J.; Dobson, K.J.; Morgan, D.J.; Loughlin, S.C.; Thordarson, T.; Lee, P.D.; Courtois, L.. 2014 Monitoring the magmas fuelling volcanic eruptions in near-real-time using x-ray micro-computed tomography. Journal of Petrology, 55 (3). 671-684. 10.1093/petrology/egt079

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Abstract/Summary

A novel application of X-ray micro-computed tomography is described, which can be used to rapidly characterize chemical populations of natural olivine crystals in erupted basalts. This technique can be deployed during volcanic crises to directly track changes in magma components of an erupting system in near-real-time. Such changes are fundamental in controlling eruption style, duration and intensity. We demonstrate a method that can generate data from hundreds of crystals within hours, which allows time-series petrological data to be recorded and interpreted alongside various complementary monitoring techniques (e.g. seismicity, ground deformation). Our direct-detection will allow greater understanding of the dynamics of sub-volcanic magma plumbing systems, and can provide important insights into how an eruption may evolve. The same technique can also be used to generate rich baseline datasets from eruption sequences in the geological record in a more efficient manner than conventional methods allow.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1093/petrology/egt079
ISSN: 0022-3530
Date made live: 20 May 2014 14:42 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/507289

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