Model for the Intrusion of Batholiths Associated with the Eruption of Large-Volume Ash-Flow Tuffs

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  31 Jan 1986:
Vol. 231, Issue 4737, pp. 483-485
DOI: 10.1126/science.231.4737.483


Pyroclastic eruption and the intrusion of batholiths associated with large-volume ash-flow tuffs may be driven by a decrease in reservoir pressure caused by the low density of the magma column due to vesiculation. Batholithic intrusion would then be accomplished by the subsidence and settling of kilometer-sized crustal blocks through the magma chamber, resulting in eventual collapse to form large caldera structures at the surface. Such a model does not require the formation of a large, laterally extensive, shallow magma chamber before the onset of large-volume ash-flow eruptions. Eruption could commence directly from a deeper reservoir, with only a small channelway being opened to the surface before the onset of catastrophic ash-flow eruptions of the scale of Yellowstone or Long Valley. Such a model has wide-ranging implications, and explains many of the problems inherent in the simple collapse model involving shallow magna chambers as well as the process and timing of batholith intrusion in such cases.