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U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1769, Chapter 15

The 2006 Eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska, Chapter 15

Petrology and Geochemistry of the 2006 Eruption of Augustine Volcano

By Jessica F. Larsen, Christopher J. Nye, Michelle L. Coombs, Mariah Tilman, Pavel Izbekov, and Cheryl Cameron


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Deposits from the 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska, record a complex history of magma mixing before and during the eruption. The eruption produced five major lithologies: low-silica andesite scoria (LSAS; 56.5 to 58.7 weight percent SiO2), mostly during the initial explosive phase; high-silica andesite pumice (HSA; 62.2 to 63.3 weight percent SiO2), prevalent during the continuous phase; dense low-silica andesite (DLSA; 56.4 to 59.3 weight percent SiO2), predominantly during the late effusive phase; and dense intermediate andesite (DIA) and banded clasts, present throughout the eruption but most abundant in the continuous phase. The DIA and banded clasts have compositions that fall between and partially overlap the ranges noted above. All rock types are phenocryst-rich (36 to 44 volume percent), containing plagioclase, orthopyroxene, augite, Fe-Ti oxides, olivine, and rare amphibole, apatite, and anhydrite. Glasses from tephra and flow-deposit clasts range from 66 to nearly 80 weight percent SiO2 and represent highly evolved melt relative to the bulk rock compositions. Fe-Ti oxides recorded fO2~2 log units above the Ni-NiO buffer and temperatures of 904±47°C and 838±14°C from LSAS and HSA samples, respectively, with the intermediate lithologies falling in the middle of these ranges. The dense low-silica andesite and scoria (collectively LSA) are compositionally nearly identical, and trace-element patterns show that the HSA is not the result of shallow crustal fractionation of the LSA. The petrological and geochemical data indicate that two-component magma mixing between the LSA and HSA caused the compositional spread in eruptive products. The phenocryst population in the LSA suggests that it represents a hybrid formed from the HSA and an unerupted, basaltic ”replenishing“ magma. On the basis of petrological and geophysical observations reported here and elsewhere in this volume, the HSA was stored as a crystal-rich mush with its top at ~5-km depth. An influx of basalt remobilized and partially mixed with a portion of the mush, forming the hybrid LSA. The lower viscosity LSA ascended towards the surface as a dike, erupting during the explosive phase in mid-January 2006. In late January, a large explosion produced the first significant volumes of HSA, followed by several days of rapid HSA effusion during the eruption’s continuous phase. After a three-week hiatus marked by elevated gas output, signifying an open system, degassed LSA erupted during the final, effusive phase. Consistency in eruptive styles and compositions suggests that the HSA magma body may have been similarly rejuvenated during the past several eruptions.

Appendixes 1–5

These appendixes are in digital form and consist of additional descriptions and compositional data for samples used in this study. They consist of spreadsheet documents provided in several file formats.

  • Appendix 1. Samples of Augustine Volcano 2006 eruptive products used in this study, sorted by eruptive unit and lithologic type. This table lists samples of Augustine Volcano 2006 eruptive products used in this study. The samples are sorted by eruptive unit and lithologic type.
  • Appendix 2. Modal Mineralogy and Point Count Data for the Augustine Eruptive Lithologies. This table presents the modal mineralogy data, determined from 1,000 point counts from thin sections of each lithology. These data form the basis for the average modal mineralogy data presented in table 2 and figure 4.
  • Appendix 3. Augustine Whole-Rock Geochemical Analyses. This appendix includes data collected by the Washington State University Geoanalytical Laboratory for the Alaska Volcano Observatory. The data include analyses from 2006 Augustine eruptive products, as well as pre-2006 historical, and early Holocene and Pleistocene samples.
  • Appendix 4. Groundmass Glass Electron Microprobe Analyses from Augustine 2006 Samples used in this Study. This appendix includes glass compositional analyses from several major lithologies form the 2006 eruptive products. It also includes glass data from tephra samples from December 24, 2005 and January 13, 14, and 17,2006. Tephra analyses from 1986 samples are also included for comparison. The data included in this appendix is also plotted in figure 11 in the text.
  • Appendix 5. Representative Electron Microprobe Analyses of Plagioclase Phenocrysts in Augustine 2006 Samples used in this Study. The electron microprobe analyses presented here represent the core to rim transects shown in figure 12 of the text.

Back to The 2006 Eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska

Back to The 2006 Eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska

For additional information contact:
Alaska Volcano Observatory staff
4210 University Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Alaska Volcano Observatory

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Suggested citation:

Larsen, J.F., Nye, C.J., Coombs, M.L., Tilman, Mariah, Izbekov, Pavel, and Cameron, Cheryl, 2010, Petrology and geochemistry of the 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, chapter 15 of Power, J.A., Coombs, M.L., and Freymueller, J.T., eds., The 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1769, p. 335-382 and spreadsheets.

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