Transitions between explosive and effusive phases during the cataclysmic 2010 eruption of Merapi volcano, Java, Indonesia

Preece, Katie, Gertisser, Ralf, Barclay, Jennifer ORCID:, Charbonnier, Sylvain, Komorowski, Jean-Christophe and Herd, Richard (2016) Transitions between explosive and effusive phases during the cataclysmic 2010 eruption of Merapi volcano, Java, Indonesia. Bulletin of Volcanology, 78. ISSN 0258-8900

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Transitions between explosive and effusive activity are commonly observed during dome-forming eruptions and may be linked to factors such as magma influx, ascent rate and degassing. However, the interplay between these factors is complex and the resulting eruptive behaviour often unpredictable. This paper focuses on the driving forces behind the explosive and effusive activity during the well-documented 2010 eruption of Merapi, the volcano’s largest eruption since 1872. Time-controlled samples were collected from the 2010 deposits, linked to eruption stage and style of activity. These include scoria and pumice from the initial explosions, dense and scoriaceous dome samples formed via effusive activity, as well as scoria and pumice samples deposited during subplinian column collapse. Quantitative textural analysis of groundmass feldspar microlites, including measurements of areal number density, mean microlite size, crystal aspect ratio, groundmass crystallinity and crystal size distribution analysis, reveal that shallow pre- and syn-eruptive magmatic processes acted to govern the changing behaviour during the eruption. High-An (up to ∼80 mol% An) microlites from early erupted samples reveal that the eruption was likely preceded by an influx of hotter or more mafic magma. Transitions between explosive and effusive activity in 2010 were driven primarily by the dynamics of magma ascent in the conduit, with degassing and crystallisation acting via feedback mechanisms, resulting in cycles of effusive and explosive activity. Explosivity during the 2010 eruption was enhanced by the presence of a ‘plug’ of cooled magma within the shallow magma plumbing system, which acted to hinder degassing, leading to overpressure prior to initial explosive activity.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2016 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Uncontrolled Keywords: microlites,csd,merapi,explosive eruption,effusive eruption
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Geosciences
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Volcanoes@UEA (former - to 2018)
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Geosciences and Natural Hazards (former - to 2017)
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2016 00:09
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 06:30
DOI: 10.1007/s00445-016-1046-z


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