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|The 1998-2001 submarine lava balloon eruption at the Serreta Ridge (Azores archipelago): constraints from volcanic facies architecture, isotope geochemistry and magnetic data
Marques, Ana Filipa
Pinto de Abreu, Manuel
Serreta submarine eruption
|Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
|The most recent submarine eruption observed offshore the Azores archipelago occurred between 1998-2001 along the submarine Serreta ridge (SSR), ~4-5 nautical miles WNW of Terceira Island. This submarine eruption delivered abundant basaltic lava balloons floating at the sea surface and significantly changed the bathymetry around the eruption area. Our work combines bathymetry, volcanic facies cartography, petrography, rock magnetism and geochemistry in order to (1) track the possible vent source at seabed, (2) better constrain the Azores magma source(s) sampled through the Serreta submarine volcanic event, and (3) interpret the data within the small-scale mantle source heterogeneity framework that has been demonstrated for the Azores archipelago. Lava balloons sampled at sea surface display a radiogenic signature, which is also correlated with relatively primitive (low) 4He/3He isotopic ratios. Conversely, SSR lavas are characterized by significantly lower radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr, 206Pb/204Pb and 208Pb/204Pb ratios than the lava balloons and the onshore lavas from the Terceira Island. SSR lavas are primitive, but incompatible trace-enriched. Apparent decoupling between the enriched incompatible trace element abundances and depleted radiogenic isotope ratios is best explained by binary mixing of a depleted MORB source and a HIMUtype component into magma batches that evolved by similar shallower processes in their travel to the surface.
The collected data suggest that the freshest samples collected in the SSR may correspond to volcanic products of an unnoticed and more recent eruption than the 1998-2001 episode.
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