Reconstruction of a major caldera-forming eruption from pyroclastic deposit characteristics: Kos Plateau Tuff, Eastern Aegean Sea
Allen, SR, Reconstruction of a major caldera-forming eruption from pyroclastic deposit characteristics: Kos Plateau Tuff, Eastern Aegean Sea, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research , 105 pp. 141-162. ISSN 0377-0273 (2001) [Refereed Article]
The 161 ka explosive eruption of the Kos Plateau Tuff (KPT) ejected a minimum of 60 km3 of rhyolitic magma, a minor amount of andesitic magma and incorporated more than 3 km3 of vent- and conduit-derived lithic debris. The source formed a caldera south of Kos, in the Aegean Sea, Greece. Textural and lithofacies characteristics of the KPT units are used to infer eruption dynamics and magma chamber processes, including the timing for the onset of catastrophic caldera collapse. The KPT consists of six units: (A) phreatoplinian fallout at the base; (B, C) stratified pyroclastic-density-current deposits; (D, E) volumetrically dominant, massive, non-welded ignimbrites; and (F) stratified pyroclastic-density-current deposits and ash fallout at the top. The ignimbrite units show increases in mass, grain size, abundance of vent- and conduit-derived lithic clasts, and runout of the pyroclastic density currents from source. Ignimbrite formation also corresponds to a change from phreato-magmatic to dry explosive activity. Textural and lithofacies characteristics of the KPT imply that the mass flux (i.e. eruption intensity) increased to the climax when major caldera collapse was initiated and the most voluminous, widespread, lithic-rich and coarsest ignimbrite was produced, followed by a waning period. During the eruption climax, deep basement lithic clasts were ejected, along with andesitic pumice and variably melted and vesiculated co-magmatic granitoid clasts from the magma chamber. Stratigraphic variations in pumice vesicularity and crystal content, provide evidence for variations in the distribution of crystal components and a subsidiary andesitic magma within the KPT magma chamber. The eruption climax culminated in tapping more coarsely crystal-rich magma. Increases in mass flux during the waxing phase is consistent with theoretical models for moderate-volume explosive eruptions that lead to caldera collapse. Published by Elsevier Science B.V.