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Rapid Assembly and Eruption of a Shallow Silicic Magma Reservoir, Reyðarártindur Pluton, Southeast Iceland

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  • E.L. Rhodes
  • A.K. Barker
  • S. Burchardt
  • C.F. Hieronymus
  • S.N. Rousku
  • D.W. McGarvie
  • T. Mattsson
  • T. Schmiedel
  • E. Ronchin
  • T. Witcher
Article numbere2021GC009999
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/11/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Issue number11
Number of pages26
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date8/11/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Although it is widely accepted that shallow silicic magma reservoirs exist, and can feed eruptions, their dynamics and longevity are a topic of debate. Here, we use field mapping, geochemistry, 3D pluton reconstruction and a thermal model to investigate the assembly and eruptive history of the shallow Reyðarártindur Pluton, southeast Iceland. Primarily, the exposed pluton is constructed of a single rock unit, the Main Granite (69.9–77.7 wt.% SiO2). Two further units are locally exposed as enclaves at the base of the exposure, the Granite Enclaves (67.4–70.2 wt.% SiO2), and the Quartz Monzonite Enclaves (61.8–67.3 wt.% SiO2). Geochemically, the units are related and were likely derived from the same source reservoir. In 3D, the pluton has a shape characterized by flat roof segments that are vertically offset and a volume of >2.5 km3. The pluton roof is intruded by dikes from the pluton, and in two locations displays depressions associated with large dikes. Within these particular dikes the rock is partially to wholly tuffisitic, and rock compositions range from quartz monzonite to granite. We interpret these zones as eruption-feeding conduits from the pluton. A lack of cooling contacts throughout the pluton indicates rapid magma emplacement and a thermal model calculates the top 75 m would have rheologically locked up within 1,000 years. Hence, we argue that the Reyðarártindur Pluton was an ephemeral part of the wider plumbing system that feeds a volcano, and that timeframes from emplacement to eruption were rapid.