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Magma mixing during conduit flow is reflected in melt-inclusion data from persistently degassing volcanoes
  • Zihan Wei,
  • Zhipeng Qin,
  • Jenny Suckale
Zihan Wei
Stanford University, Stanford University

Corresponding Author:zihanwei@stanford.edu

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Zhipeng Qin
Guangxi University, Guangxi University
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Jenny Suckale
Stanford University, Stanford University
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Persistent volcanic activity is thought to be linked to degassing, but volatile transport at depth cannot be observed directly. Instead, we rely on indirect constraints such as CO2-H2O concentrations in melt inclusions trapped at different depth, but this data is rarely straight-forward to interpret. In this study, we integrate a multiscale conduit-flow model for non-eruptive conditions and a volatile-concentration model to compute synthetic profiles of volatile concentrations for different flow conditions and CO2 fluxing. We find that actively segregating bubbles in the flow enhance the mixing of volatile-poor and volatile-rich magma in vertical conduit segments, even if the radius of these bubbles is several orders of magnitude smaller than the width of the conduit. This finding suggests that magma mixing is common in volcanic systems when magma viscosities are low enough to allow for bubble segregation as born out by our comparison with melt-inclusion data: Our simulations show that even a small degree of mixing leads to volatile concentration profiles that are much more comparable to observations than either open- or closed-system degassing trends for both Stromboli and Mount Erebus. Our results also show that two of the main processes affecting observed volatile concentrations, magma mixing and CO2 fluxing, leave distinct observational signatures, suggesting that tracking them jointly could help better constrain changes in conduit flow. We argue that disaggregating melt-inclusion data based on the eruptive behavior at the time could advance our understanding of how conduit flow changes with eruptive regimes.