Stress transfer between magma bodies: Influence of intrusions prior to 2010 eruptions at Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Iceland
Earth and related Environmental sciences
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Stress transfer between separate magma bodies is evaluated by considering how pressure changes related to magma accumulation/propagation influence the stability of a separate nearby magma body. Three-dimensional numerical models are used to evaluate the stability evolution of a magma body through the calculation of two variables: (i) the variation of the threshold pressure needed to cause failure around the magma body and (ii) the magma pressure change. A parametric study indicates that stress interactions are strongly dependent on the distance between magma bodies as well as the body's shape. Such models are then applied to evaluate stress influence of intrusive activity in 1994, 1999, and 2010 at Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which preceded two eruptions there in 2010. Two cases are considered: influence of these intrusions on (i) a magma reservoir at 20 km distance under the Katla volcano and (ii) a silicic magma body under Eyjafjallajökull. The distance between the Eyjafjallajökull intrusions and the Katla reservoir is sufficiently long to reduce the stress interaction to insignificant levels, with an amplitude of the same order as Earth tides (a few kilopascals). However, cumulative stress transfer due to the intrusions to a remnant silicic shallow body situated below the Eyjafjallajökull is much larger (0.5 2.5 MPa). This mechanical transfer could have contributed to the failure of the silicic body and promoted the chemical mixing/mingling between different magma types, which is commonly interpreted as the main cause of the 2010 explosive eruption of Eyjafjallajökull.
CitationAlbino, F.; Sigmundsson, F. (2014). Stress transfer between magma bodies: Influence of intrusions prior to 2010 eruptions at Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Iceland. , Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, Vol. 119; 4, 2964-2975, DOI: 10.1002/2013JB010510.