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Authors: Caliro, S.*
Chiodini, G.*
Paonita, A.*
Title: Geochemical evidences of magma dynamics at Campi Flegrei (Italy)
Title of journal: Geochimica et cosmochimica acta
Series/Report no.: / 132 (2014)
Publisher: Elsevier Science Limited
Issue Date: 2014
DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2014.01.021
Keywords: Geochemical Evidences
Campi Flegrei caldera
Abstract: Campi Flegrei caldera, within the Neapolitan area of Italy, is potentially one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and during the last decade it has shown clear signs of reactivation, marked by the onset of uplift and changes in the geochemistry of gas emissions. We describe a 30-year-long data set of the CO2–He–Ar–N2 compositions of fumarolic emissions from La Solfatara crater, which is located in the center of the caldera. The data display continuous decreases in both the N2/He and N2/CO2 ratios since 1985, paralleled by an increase in He/CO2. These variations cannot be explained by either processes of boiling/condensation in the local hydrothermal system or with changes in the mixing proportions between a magmatic vapor and hydrothermal fluids. We applied the magma degassing model of Nuccio and Paonita (2001, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 193, 467–481) using the most recent inert-gas solubilities in order to interpret these peculiar features in accordance with petrologic constraints derived from the ranges of the melt compositions and reservoir pressures at Campi Flegrei. The model simulations for mafic melts (trachybasalt and shoshonite) show a remarkably good agreement with the measured data. Both decompressive degassing of an ascending magma and mixing between magmatic fluids exsolved at various levels along the ascent path can explain the long-term geochemical changes. Recalling that (i) a sill-like reservoir of gases at a depth of 3–4 km seems to be the main source of ground inflation and (ii) there is petrologic and geophysical evidence for a reservoir of magma at about 8 km below Campi Flegrei, we suggest that the most-intense episodes of inflation occur when the gas supply to the sill-like reservoir comes from the 8 km-deep magma, although fluids exsolved by magma bodies at shallower depths also contribute to the gas budget. Our work highlights that, in caldera systems where the presence of hydrothermal aquifers commonly masks the magmatic signature of reactive volatiles, inert gases are the preferred species to use when seeking information on the melt composition, dynamics, and structure of the plumbing systems.
Appears in Collections:04.08.03. Magmas
Papers Published / Papers in press

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