Contrasting styles of welding observed in the proximal Askja 1875 eruption deposits II: Local welding
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Carey, RJ and Houghton, BF and Thordarson, T, Contrasting styles of welding observed in the proximal Askja 1875 eruption deposits II: Local welding, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research: An International Journal on The Geophysical, Geochemical, Petrological and Economic Aspects of Geothermal and Volcanological Research, 171, (1-2) pp. 20-44. ISSN 0377-0273 (2008) [Refereed Article]
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As an alternative to classical welding models of fall deposits due to the progressive accumulation of hot tephra which then weld, we describe here welded deposits on the northern 1875 caldera rim of Askja volcano that have welded due to the influence of hot, discrete spatter bombs impacting into and supplying heat to a halo of surrounding tephra. This style of welding we term 'local welding' in contrast to 'regional welding' which is described elsewhere [Carey, R.J., Houghton, B.F., Thordarson, T., 2008. Contrasting styles of welding observed in the proximal Askja 1875 eruption deposits I: Regional welding. J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res. 171, 1-19. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2007.11.020]. Locally welded deposits are associated with the rhyolitic Plinian phase of the 1875 eruption of Askja volcano. Two distinct welding units (W1 and W2) are interbedded with Plinian fall on the northern caldera rim, and grade outwards to weakly dispersed non-welded fall. Spatter bombs are found in both welding units but vary in their characteristic sizes and internal features. In the W1 unit simple bombs with homogeneous internal characteristics up to ∼ 60 cm in diameter are found. In the W2 unit, large discrete spatter bombs with complex internal features range up to 9 m in diameter. We describe here two case studies showing the effects of a) single small spatter bombs; b) multiple small spatter bombs and c) large discrete spatter bombs varying in size. Vertical and lateral profiles through welding zones reveal that the primary controls on local welding are the availability of supplied or added heat and the loading capacity of the spatter bomb. Local welding grades are much higher than that of regional welding, as the combined effects of heat, compaction and insulation can provide suitable conditions which lead to dense welding and, proximal to the spatter bomb, rheomorphic flowage. If heating and loading exceed the critical requirement for welding, porosity loss via matrix welding and vesicle collapse occurs to a point where further strain must be accommodated as shearing and ductile flowage. The spatter bombs are found only within the weakly dispersed welding units and are the final erupted products of each fountaining phase. Their low viscosities are evident by their deformation on impact and fluidal forms, and hold some important clues to eruption dynamics in the shallow conduit and vent regions. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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