A CO2-gas precursor to the March 2015 Villarrica volcano eruption

Alessandro Aiuppa, Giancarlo Tamburello, Gaetano Giudice, Marco Liuzzo, Nial Peters, Aaron Curtis, Yves Moussallam, Vincenzo Francofonte, Marcello Bitetto, Gabriela Velasquez, Claudia Bucarey Parra, Oscar. A. Valderrama, Claudia Bucarey Parra, Alessandro Aiuppa, Roberto Moretti

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We present here the first volcanic gas compositional time-series taken prior to a paroxysmal eruption of Villarrica volcano (Chile). Our gas plume observations were obtained using a fully autonomous Multi-component Gas Analyser System (Multi-GAS) in the 3 month-long phase of escalating volcanic activity that culminated into the 3 March 2015 paroxysm, the largest since 1985. Our results demonstrate a temporal evolution of volcanic plume composition, from low CO2/SO2ratios (0.65-2.7) during November 2014-January 2015 to CO2/SO2ratios up to â 9 then after. The H2O/CO2ratio simultaneously declined to <38 in the same temporal interval. We use results of volatile saturation models to demonstrate that this evolution toward CO2-enriched gas was likely caused by unusual supply of deeply sourced gas bubbles. We propose that separate ascent of over-pressured gas bubbles, originating from at least 20-35 MPa pressures, was the driver for activity escalation toward the 3 March climax.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2120-2132
Number of pages13
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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    Aiuppa, A., Tamburello, G., Giudice, G., Liuzzo, M., Peters, N., Curtis, A., Moussallam, Y., Francofonte, V., Bitetto, M., Velasquez, G., Parra, C. B., Valderrama, O. A., Parra, C. B., Aiuppa, A., & Moretti, R. (2017). A CO2-gas precursor to the March 2015 Villarrica volcano eruption. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 18, 2120-2132.