Are volcanic melts less viscous than we thought? The case of Stromboli basalt

Valdivia P, Zandona A, Kurnosov A, Ballaran TB, Deubener J, Di Genova D (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023


Book Volume: 178

Article Number: 45

Journal Issue: 7

DOI: 10.1007/s00410-023-02024-w


Melt viscosity is one of the most critical physical properties controlling magma transport dynamics and eruptive style. Although viscosity measurements are widely used to study and model the flow behavior of magmas, recent research has revealed that nanocrystallization of Fe–Ti-oxides can compromise the reliability of viscosity data. This phenomenon can occur during laboratory measurements around the glass transition temperature (Tg) and lead to the depletion of iron and titanium in the residual melt phase, with a significant increase in viscosity. Accurate viscosity measurements play a crucial role in determining the reliability of empirical models for magma viscosity, which are used to evaluate eruptive scenarios in hazardous areas. Here, we quantify the reliability of empirical models by elaborating a new viscosity model of Stromboli basalt that relies exclusively on viscosity data obtained from nanocrystal-free samples. We show that empirical models so far used to estimate melt viscosity at eruptive conditions overestimate Stromboli viscosity by a factor ranging between 2 and 5. In the context of numerical modelling of magmatic processes at Stromboli volcano, we analyse and interpret this finding. Based on our findings, we draw the conclusion that Stromboli basalt is anticipated to ascend from the storage area to the vent at a faster rate than previously hypothesized.

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Valdivia, P., Zandona, A., Kurnosov, A., Ballaran, T.B., Deubener, J., & Di Genova, D. (2023). Are volcanic melts less viscous than we thought? The case of Stromboli basalt. Contributions To Mineralogy and Petrology, 178(7).


Valdivia, Pedro, et al. "Are volcanic melts less viscous than we thought? The case of Stromboli basalt." Contributions To Mineralogy and Petrology 178.7 (2023).

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