Caldera-forming eruptions, during which large volumes of magma are explosively evacuated into the atmosphere from shallow crustal reservoirs, are one of the most hazardous natural events on Earth. The Campanian Ignimbrite (CI; Campi Flegrei, Italy) represents a classical example of such events, producing a voluminous pyroclastic sequence of trachytic to phonolitic magma that covered several thousands of squared kilometers in the south-central Italy around 39 ka ago. The CI deposits are known for their remarkable geochemical gradients, attributed to eruption from a vertically zoned magma chamber. We investigate the relationships between such chemical zoning and the crystallinity variations observed within the CI pyroclastic sequence by combining bulk-rock data with detailed analyses of crystals and matrix glass from well-characterized stratigraphic units. Using geothermometers and hygrometers specifically calibrated for alkaline magmas, we reconstruct the reservoir storage conditions, revealing the presence of gradients in temperature and magma water content. In particular, we observe a decrease in crystallinity and temperature and an increase in magma evolution and water content from the bottom to the top of the magma chamber. We interpret these features as the result of protracted fractional crystallization leading to the formation of a cumulate crystal mush at the base of the eruptible reservoir, from which highly evolved, crystal-poor, water-rich and relatively cold melts were separated. The extracted melts, forming a buoyant, easily eruptible cap at the top of the magma chamber, fed the initial phases of the eruption, until caldera collapse and eruption of the deeper more crystalline part of the system. This late-erupted, crystal-rich material represents remobilized portions of the cumulate crystal mush, partly melted following hotter recharge. Our interpretation is supported by: 1) the positive bulk-rock Eu anomalies and the high Ba and Sr contents observed in the crystal-rich units, implying feldspar accumulation; 2) the positive Eu anomalies in the matrix glass of the crystal-rich units, testifying to the presence of liquid derived from partial melting of low temperature mineral phases within the crystal mush (mostly feldspars); 3) the Ba and Sr-rich rims in the feldspars and positive Eu anomalies in clinopyroxene rims, suggesting late rim growth from a locally enriched melt following cumulate mush remelting and 4) the occurrence of An-rich plagioclase, relict from a more mafic recharge, which acted as a heat source. Our model reconciles many observations made over the years on zoned deposits of such high-magnitude explosive eruptions, and provides a framework to understand magma chamber processes leading up to cataclysmic events.

The origin of a zoned ignimbrite : Insights into the Campanian Ignimbrite magma chamber (Campi Flegrei, Italy) / F. Forni, O. Bachmann, S. Mollo, G. De Astis, S.E. Gelman, B.S. Ellis. - In: EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS. - ISSN 0012-821X. - 449(2016), pp. 259-271. [10.1016/j.epsl.2016.06.003]

The origin of a zoned ignimbrite : Insights into the Campanian Ignimbrite magma chamber (Campi Flegrei, Italy)

F. Forni
;
2016

Abstract

Caldera-forming eruptions, during which large volumes of magma are explosively evacuated into the atmosphere from shallow crustal reservoirs, are one of the most hazardous natural events on Earth. The Campanian Ignimbrite (CI; Campi Flegrei, Italy) represents a classical example of such events, producing a voluminous pyroclastic sequence of trachytic to phonolitic magma that covered several thousands of squared kilometers in the south-central Italy around 39 ka ago. The CI deposits are known for their remarkable geochemical gradients, attributed to eruption from a vertically zoned magma chamber. We investigate the relationships between such chemical zoning and the crystallinity variations observed within the CI pyroclastic sequence by combining bulk-rock data with detailed analyses of crystals and matrix glass from well-characterized stratigraphic units. Using geothermometers and hygrometers specifically calibrated for alkaline magmas, we reconstruct the reservoir storage conditions, revealing the presence of gradients in temperature and magma water content. In particular, we observe a decrease in crystallinity and temperature and an increase in magma evolution and water content from the bottom to the top of the magma chamber. We interpret these features as the result of protracted fractional crystallization leading to the formation of a cumulate crystal mush at the base of the eruptible reservoir, from which highly evolved, crystal-poor, water-rich and relatively cold melts were separated. The extracted melts, forming a buoyant, easily eruptible cap at the top of the magma chamber, fed the initial phases of the eruption, until caldera collapse and eruption of the deeper more crystalline part of the system. This late-erupted, crystal-rich material represents remobilized portions of the cumulate crystal mush, partly melted following hotter recharge. Our interpretation is supported by: 1) the positive bulk-rock Eu anomalies and the high Ba and Sr contents observed in the crystal-rich units, implying feldspar accumulation; 2) the positive Eu anomalies in the matrix glass of the crystal-rich units, testifying to the presence of liquid derived from partial melting of low temperature mineral phases within the crystal mush (mostly feldspars); 3) the Ba and Sr-rich rims in the feldspars and positive Eu anomalies in clinopyroxene rims, suggesting late rim growth from a locally enriched melt following cumulate mush remelting and 4) the occurrence of An-rich plagioclase, relict from a more mafic recharge, which acted as a heat source. Our model reconciles many observations made over the years on zoned deposits of such high-magnitude explosive eruptions, and provides a framework to understand magma chamber processes leading up to cataclysmic events.
Campanian Ignimbrite; Campi Flegrei; cumulates; phonolites; zoned ignimbrites
Settore GEO/08 - Geochimica e Vulcanologia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/834973
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