Enhancement of eruption explosivity by heterogeneous bubble nucleation triggered by magma mingling

Joali Paredes-Mariño, Katherine J. Dobson, Gianluigi Ortenzi, Ulrich Kueppers, Daniele Morgavi, Maurizio Petrelli, Kai-Uwe Hess, Kathrin Laeger, Massimiliano Porreca, Adriano Pimentel, Diego Perugini

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We present new evidence that shows magma mingling can be a key process during highly explosive eruptions. Using fractal analysis of the size distribution of trachybasaltic fragments found on the inner walls of bubbles in trachytic pumices, we show that the more mafic component underwent fracturing during quenching against the trachyte. We propose a new mechanism for how this magmatic interaction at depth triggered rapid heterogeneous bubble nucleation and growth and could have enhanced eruption explosivity. We argue that the data support a further, and hitherto unreported contribution of magma mingling to highly explosive eruptions. This has implications for hazard assessment for those volcanoes in which evidence of magma mingling exists.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16897
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2017


  • Volcanic eruption
  • magma mingling
  • magmatic interaction
  • heterogeneous bubble nucleation
  • hazard assessment


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