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Textures, water content and degassing of silicic andesites from recent plinian and dome-forming eruptions at Mount Pelée volcano (Martinique, Lesser Antilles arc)

Abstract : Previous petrological and phase-equilibrium experimental studies on recent silicic andesites from Mount Pelée volcano have evidenced comparable pre-eruptive conditions for plinian and dome-forming (pelean herein) eruptions, implying that differences in eruptive style must be primarily controlled by differences in degassing behaviour of the Mount Pelée magmas during eruption. To further investigate the degassing conditions of plinian and pelean magmas of Mount Pelée, we study here the most recent Mount Pelée's products (P1 at 650 years B.P., 1902, and 1929 eruptions, which cover a range of plinian and pelean lithologies) for bulk-rock vesicularities, glass water contents (glass inclusions in phenocrysts and matrix glasses) and microtextures. Water contents of glass inclusions are scattered in the plinian pumices but on average compare with the experimentally-deduced pre-eruptive melt water content (i.e., 5.3-6.3 wt.%), whereas they are much lower in the dominant pelean lithologies (crystalline, poorly vesicular lithics and dome samples). This indicates that the glass inclusions of the pelean products have undergone strong leakage and do not represent pre-eruptive water contents. The water content of the pyroclast matrix glasses are thought to closely represent the residual water content in the melt at the time of fragmentation. Determination of the water contents of both the pre-eruptive melt and matrix glasses allows the estimation of the amount of water exsolved upon syn-eruptive degassing. We find the amount of water exsolved during the eruptive process to be higher in the pelean products than in the plinian ones, typically 90-100 and 65-70% of the initial water content, respectively. The vesicularities calculated from the amount of exsolved water compare with the measured vesicularities for the plinian pumices, consistent with a closed-system, near-equilibrium degassing up to fragmentation. By contrast, the low residual water contents, low groundmass vesicularities and extensive groundmass crystallization of the pelean products are direct evidence of open-system degassing. Microtextural features, including silica-bearing and silica-free voids in the pelean lithologies may represent a two-stage vesiculation.
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Caroline Martel, Jean-Louis Bourdier, Michel Pichavant, Hervé Traineau. Textures, water content and degassing of silicic andesites from recent plinian and dome-forming eruptions at Mount Pelée volcano (Martinique, Lesser Antilles arc). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Elsevier, 2000, 96, pp.191-206. ⟨10.1016/S0377-0273(99)00147-X⟩. ⟨hal-00115128⟩

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