New physical characterization of the Fontana Lapilli basaltic Plinian eruption, Nicaragua

Costantini, L., Bonadonna, C., Houghton, B. F. and Wehrmann, Heidi (2009) New physical characterization of the Fontana Lapilli basaltic Plinian eruption, Nicaragua Bulletin of Volcanology, 71 (3). pp. 337-355. DOI 10.1007/s00445-008-0227-9.

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Abstract

The Fontana Lapilli deposit was erupted in the late Pleistocene from a vent, or multiple vents, located near Masaya volcano (Nicaragua) and is the product of one of the largest basaltic Plinian eruptions studied so far. This eruption evolved from an initial sequence of fluctuating fountain-like events and moderately explosive pulses to a sustained Plinian episode depositing fall beds of highly vesicular basaltic-andesite scoria (SiO2 > 53 wt%). Samples show unimodal grain size distribution and a moderate sorting that are uniform in time. The juvenile component predominates (> 96 wt%) and consists of vesicular clasts with both sub-angular and fluidal, elongated shapes. We obtain a maximum plume height of 32 km and an associated mass eruption rate of 1.4 × 108 kg s−1 for the Plinian phase. Estimates of erupted volume are strongly sensitive to the technique used for the calculation and to the distribution of field data. Our best estimate for the erupted volume of the majority of the climactic Plinian phase is between 2.9 and 3.8 km3 and was obtained by applying a power-law fitting technique with different integration limits. The estimated eruption duration varies between 4 and 6 h. Marine-core data confirm that the tephra thinning is better fitted by a power-law than by an exponential trend.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Volcanology; Basaltic Plinian eruption - Masaya volcano - Eruption parameters - Volcanic hazards - Explosive volcanism - Volume calculation - Tephra deposition
Research affiliation: OceanRep > SFB 574 > C4
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems
OceanRep > SFB 574 > C2
OceanRep > SFB 574
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00445-008-0227-9
ISSN: 0258-8900
Contribution Number:
ProjectNumber
SFB 574127
Expeditions/Models:
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2010 09:54
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2012 15:01
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/8617

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