Portland State University. Department of Geology
Martin J. Streck
Date of Award
Master of Science (M.S.) in Geology
1 online resource (xvii, 210 pages)
Igneous rocks -- Inclusions, Magmas -- Oregon -- Mount Hood -- Case studies
Magma recharge events and subsequent mixing processes are understood to precede volcanic eruptions. Textural evidence of intrusion of hot, mafic magma into a cooler, rheologically locked silicic magma is commonplace. Solidified "blobs" of injected magma, called enclaves, are evidence of magma mixing, but the petrological and mechanical conditions during their formation are debated. Mount Hood, Oregon consistently erupts andesite bearing compositionally similar enclaves. These enclaves are evidence of mingling and mixing of two magmas. However, due to the compositional similarity between enclave and host lava (e.g. ~1-5 wt.% difference in SiO2), it is unclear whether the preserved enclaves represent; 1) partially hybridized mafic melt remaining after mixing with significant crystal exchange with the host magma or 2) the preserved remnants of the intruding magma during recharge, with no homogenization or crystal exchange with the host magma. The aim of this study is to understand how and why enclaves form in compositionally similar host magmas, such as those at Mount Hood. Building off previous research, we utilize a combination of field observations, chemical analyses, and numerical modeling to constrain the rheology of the magmas prior to and during mixing. The degree of magma mixing is dependent on the viscosity contrast between the host and intruding magmas. Since these magmas are similar compositionally, variations in other magmatic properties such as crystallinity, and therefore temperature, and density may drive the viscosity differences between the host and intruding magmas needed for enclave formation.
The enclaves at Mount Hood are vesicular (13-28%), coarse-grained; made up of mainly groundmass crystals (200-450 µm) with sparse microlites (< 200 µm), glass (450 µm) proportions, and rarely contain quenched margins. Additionally, crystals within the host magma show preferential alignment along the margins between host and enclave, suggesting a fluid behavior of the host magma during mixing. Based on textural and compositional evidence, we hypothesize that the intruding magma was buoyant, viscous, and crystalline, due to decompression-induced crystallization and exsolution of volatiles, during recharge and ascent to the shallow magma reservoir. Injection and underplating of the viscous crystalline intruding magma into a hot convecting host magma induces enclave formation. Crystallization temperatures differ by only 6-15 °C between host and enclave lavas, derived by the two pyroxene geothermometry method by Putrika (2008). These crystallization temperatures are consistent with crystallization in compositionally similar magmas. However, with such similar crystallization and liquidus temperatures, maintaining a viscosity contrast between the mixing magmas for enclave survival after formation suggests other properties, apart from temperature, must explain the viscosity contrast needed for enclave survival after enclave dispersal and thermal equilibration occurs. The presence of bubbles, from exsolution during crystallization, within the enclave magma increases the viscosity while simultaneously decreasing the density. Therefore, the presence of bubbles increases the viscosity of the intruding magma and maintains the viscosity contrast during the mixing process after thermal equilibration occurs. Additionally, if degassing occurs, rapid crystallization maintains the high viscosity of the enclaves. The enclaves observed at Mount Hood represent the solidified remnants of the last recharge event prior to eruption. The presence of compositionally similar enclaves and host lavas suggest a transient precursor event just prior to eruption at Mount Hood and can be applied to other recharge-driven arc volcanic systems.
Ellowitz, Molly Kathryn, "Dynamics of Magma Recharge and Mixing at Mount Hood Volcano, Oregon -- Insights from Enclave-bearing Lavas" (2018). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 4544.