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Highly explosive eruption of the monogenetic 8.6ka BP La Vache et Lassolas scoria cone complex (Chaîne des Puys, France)

Abstract : The eruption of the trachy-basaltic La Vache and Lassolas cone complex was the youngest eruption (ca. 8.6 ka BP) and one of the most violent in the Chaîne des Puys, France. Here we present field data and results of grain size, componentry and clast density measurements of different layers of the widespread tephra deposit that is associated with this cone-forming eruption. Our data indicates five main eruption phases comprising a vent-opening phase, a second sustained highly explosive phase, a third and fourth violent Strombolian phase and a fifth dominantly effusive phase. The layer formed by the opening phase is rich in lithic material, which was previously considered to be the result of phreatomagmatic activity. The data presented here on the componentry and textures of the pyroclastic material contradict this hypothesis. We propose instead that the material of the basal layer results from fragmentation caused by the explosion of a first arriving gas-dominated phase. The variations in eruption intensity during the main eruption phases are interpreted here to be the result of gas segregation within the plumbing system and fluxes in the magma ascent rate during the eruption. Significant amount of gas segregation is indicated by the deposition of both gas-poor and gas-rich material and by the presence of plate tephra. This is also supported by the simultaneous ejection of tephra and lava from both cones during most of the explosive activity. We suggest that gas segregation occurred within shallow intrusions and that fresh ascending material in the main conduit mixed with degassed material that flow back into the conduit from the intrusion before fragmentation. The interaction of the ascending magma and the opening of intrusions may have controlled the evolution and explosivity of the eruption. The high explosivity at the beginning of the eruption and the wide dispersal area, demonstrate that scoria cone eruptions in monogenetic fields can impose a major threat to the population and infrastructures nearby as these events may occur with little warning, and therefore research on this kind of eruptions is of a major importance to better understand the processes driving these events.
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Contributor : Sylvaine Jouhannel Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, November 17, 2017 - 3:09:53 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 9:15:00 AM




S.C. Jordan, L. Le Pennec, Lucia Gurioli, Olivier Roche, P. Boivin. Highly explosive eruption of the monogenetic 8.6ka BP La Vache et Lassolas scoria cone complex (Chaîne des Puys, France). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Elsevier, 2016, 313, pp.15 - 28. ⟨10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2015.12.006⟩. ⟨hal-01637384⟩



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