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Highly Explosive 2010 Merapi Eruption: Evidence for Shallow-Level Crustal Assimilation and Hybrid Fluid

Abstract : The processes responsible for the highly explosive events at Merapi, Central Java, Indonesia have been investigated through a petrological, mineralogical and geochemical study of the first-stage tephra and pyroclastic flows sampled in October and November 2010, and second-stage ash sampled shortly after the 5 - 6th November 2010 paroxysmal subplinian eruption. Several chemical and physical parameters suggest that the magma assimilated calc-silicate xenoliths derived from the surrounding carbonate-bearing crust (Javanese limestone). The bulk volcanic samples have highly radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr (0.70571 - 0.70598) ratios that approach the compositional field of material similar to the calc-silicate xenoliths. The 2010 plagioclase phenocrysts from the pyroclastic flow and tephra reveal anorthite cores (up to An94-97) with low FeO contents (≤ 0.8 wt.%), and 18O enrichment (6.5 ‰ δ18O). The major and trace elements of the silicic glasses and phenocrysts (plagioclase, low-Al augite and titanomagnetite), the Sr- isotopic compositions of the bulk samples and plagioclases erupted in 2010 can be explained by complete digestion of the 1998 and 2006 calc-silicate xenoliths. The bulk assimilation proceeded through binary mixing between a calcic melt (representing Crustal Assimilant, CaO up to 10.5 wt.%, CaO/Al2O3 up to 1.2) and the deep source hydrous K-rich melt. Similarly to the 1998 and 2006 calc-silicate xenolith composition, the 2010 Crustal Assimilant is enriched in Mn (MnO up to 0.5 wt.%), Zn, V, Sc contents. In contrast, the hydrous K-rich melt is enriched in volatiles (Cl up to 0.37 wt.%, bulk H2O+CO2 up to 5 ± 1 wt.%), Al2O3, TiO2 and REE contents, consistent with its derivation from deep source. This hydrous K-rich melt may have been saturated with an aqueous Cl-rich fluid at about 200 MPa, a pressure consistent with the level of the crustal assimilation. We estimated that the pre-eruptive basaltic andesite magma assimilated from 15 to 40 wt.% of the calc-silicate crustal material, corresponding to introduction of additional 0.19 to 2.1 Mt of CO2 to the magma. Experimental leaching of the ash samples documents the release of an aqueous fluid enriched in Cl, Na, Ca, Cd, Sb and Zn during the paroxysmal subplinian eruption. The paroxysmal eruption may have been produced by saturation of the pre-eruptive basaltic andesite magma with hybrid aqueous carbonic NaCl-HCl-rich fluid due to bulk assimilation creating elevated partial pressure of CO2 at shallow crustal conditions of about 200 MPa. In contrast, mildly explosive block-and-ash flows (typical Merapi-type) may result from selective assimilation of the carbonate-bearing xenoliths and lower CO2 partial pressure that may not lead to explosive degassing.
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Anastassia Yu Borisova, Caroline Martel, Sophie Gouy, Indyo Pratomo, Sri Sumarti, et al.. Highly Explosive 2010 Merapi Eruption: Evidence for Shallow-Level Crustal Assimilation and Hybrid Fluid. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Elsevier, 2013, 261, pp.193-208. ⟨10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2012.11.002⟩. ⟨insu-00750679⟩

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