Magma takes the fast lane

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Science  26 Jul 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6451, pp. 338
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6451.338-a

A basaltic lava flow in northern Iceland


Knowing the time scale for magma transport is important for developing volcano models and improving eruption forecasts. Mutch et al. used different geochemical tracers to constrain the pressure, temperature, and timing of magma ascent from the bottom of the lower crust for an ancient Icelandic eruption. Surprisingly, the magma took only about 10 days to rocket up from approximately 24 kilometers under the surface and erupt. This rapid connection between the crust and the magma source should focus attention on important pre-eruption events like seismic swarms and large changes in carbon dioxide flux.

Nat. Geosci. 12, 569 (2019).

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