2019 Graduate Student Showcase

Title of Submission

Unraveling the Causes of Mafic Explosive Volcanism at Llaima Volcano, Southern Chile

Degree Program

Geosciences, PhD

Major Advisor Name

Brittany Brand

Type of Submission

Scholarly Poster


Mafic magmas are the most common type of magma to erupt on Earth. The low viscosity of such magma reduces their explosive potential. However, sometimes mafic magma erupts violently, and the causes of this explosive activity are poorly-understood. We investigate the role of low magma permeability, high crystallinities, and rapid magma ascent as drivers for mafic explosive eruptions at Llaima volcano, Chile. Our preliminary findings suggest that rapid magma ascent induces high degrees of crystallization. Crystallization increases viscosity, trapping magmatic gases needed for explosive activity. This work has implications for understanding the eruptive and hazard potential for mafic volcanoes globally.

Funding Information

National Geographic Grant 6642-16, National Science Foundation EAR Grant 1831143

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