This is a past event.
Before the Big Boom: How Supereruptions are Made
Supereruptions are enormous volcanic eruptions the likes of which we have never witnessed - the most recent superereuption occurred ~25 ka. Just because we have never experienced a superuption, however, does not mean that one could not happen in the future, and such eruptions have the potential to wreak havoc on life, infrastructure, and the environment. Consequently, it is critical that we study deposits from past supereruptions to understand how, when, where, and why the magmas involved in these eruptions are generated, stored, and erupt.
In this talk, I will address two particularly important and hotly debated issues about the large volumes of magma involved in supereruptions: (1) Their storage in the crust - where do they reside, and what is their geometry?, and (2) Their longevity in the crust - how long do they persist prior to erupting, and what is the timing and duration of the eruptive process itself? I will combine information from field studies, geochemistry, textural relations of crystals in rocks and melt inclusions in crystals, geochronology, geobarometry, phase-equilibria modeling, and diffusion modeling, to address these questions and contribute to the ongoing debates around this issue. Results from this work show that there are some broad generalizations that we can make about supereruptive systems (e.g., they reside in the upper crust and are short lived) but each one has individual characteristics that must be considered as well (e.g., their shape in the crust varies). In addition, this work illustrates the power in using a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary approach to develop a complex and nuanced answer to questions in igneous petrology.
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