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Journal Articles Journal of Geophysical Research Year : 2000

Experimental study of caldera formation

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Olivier Roche
Timothy H. Druitt
Olivier Merle


Scaled experiments have been carried out on caldera collapse mechanisms, using silicone as analogue magma and dry sand as analogue rock. Experiments were carried out in two and three dimensions using a range of roof aspect ratios (thickness/width 0.2 to 4.5) appropriate for caldera collapse. They reveal a g•neral mechanism of collapse, only weakly dependent on the shape of the reservoir. For low roof aspect ratios (_<1), subsidence starts by flexure of the roof and the formation of outward dipping, reverse ring faults, which in turn trigger formation of peripheral inward dipping, normal ring faults. The subsidence always occurs asymmetrically. In cross section the reverse faults delimit a coherent piston, bounded on each side by an annular zone of inwardly tilted strata located between the reverse and normal ring fault sets. The surface depression consists of a nondeformed area (piston) surrounded by an annular extensional zone (tilted strata). For high aspect ratios (> 1), multiple reverse faults break up the roof into large pieces, and subsidence occurred as a series of nested wedges (2-D) or cones (3-D). The extensional zone dominates the surface depression. In the case where preexisting regional faults do not play a major role, the collapse mechanics of calderas probably depends strongly on the roof aspect ratio. Calderas with low roof aspect ratios are predicted to collapse as coherent pistons along reverse faults. The annular extensional zone might be the source of the large landslides that generate intracaldera megabreccias. Collapse into magma reservoirs with high roof aspect ratios may be the origin of some funnel calderas where explosive reaming is not dominant.
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hal-03031456 , version 1 (10-12-2020)


Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives - CC BY 4.0


  • HAL Id : hal-03031456 , version 1


Olivier Roche, Timothy H. Druitt, Olivier Merle. Experimental study of caldera formation. Journal of Geophysical Research, 2000, 105 (B1), pp.395-416. ⟨hal-03031456⟩
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