Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

No single model for supersized eruptions and their magma bodies

Wilson, Colin J. N., Cooper, George F. ORCID:, Chamberlain, Katy J., Barker, Simon J., Myers, Madison L., Illsley-Kemp, Finnigan and Farrell, Jamie 2021. No single model for supersized eruptions and their magma bodies. Nature Reviews Earth & Environment 10.1038/s43017-021-00191-7

Full text not available from this repository.


Supereruptions are the largest explosive volcanic eruptions on Earth. They generate catastrophic, widespread ash-fall blankets and voluminous ignimbrites, with accompanying caldera collapse. However, the mechanisms of generation, storage and evacuation of the parental silicic magma bodies remain controversial. In this Review, we synthesize field, laboratory and petrological evidence from 13 Quaternary supereruptions to illustrate the range of diversity in these phenomena. Supereruptions can start mildly over weeks to months before escalating into climactic activity, or go into vigorous activity immediately. Individual supereruptions can occupy periods of days to weeks, or be prolonged over decades. The magmatic sources vary from single bodies of magma to multiple magma bodies that are simultaneously or sequentially tapped. In all 13 cases, the crystal-rich (>50–60% crystals), deep roots (>10 km) of the magmatic systems had lifetimes of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years or more. In contrast, the erupted magmas were assembled at shallower depths (4–10 km) on shorter timescales, sometimes within centuries. Geological knowledge of past events, combined with modern geophysical techniques, demonstrate how large silicic caldera volcanoes (that have had past supereruptions) operate today. Future research is particularly needed to better constrain the processes behind modern volcanic unrest and the signals that might herald an impending volcanic eruption, regardless of size.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Nature Research
ISSN: 2662-138X
Date of Acceptance: 10 June 2021
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2023 10:16

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item