Dikes and sills are the moving building blocks of the plumbing system of volcanoes and play a fundamental role in the accretionary processes of the crust. They nucleate, propagate, halt, resume propagation, and sometimes change trajectory with drastic implications for the outcome of eruptions (Sigmundsson et al., 2010). Their dynamics is still poorly understood, in particular when different external influencing factors are interacting. Here we apply a boundary element model to study dike and sill formation, propagation and arrest in different scenarios. We model dikes as finite batches of compressible fluid magma, propagating quasi-statically in an elastic medium, and calculate their trajectories by maximising the energy release of the magma-rock system. We consider dike propagation in presence of density layering, of density plus rigidity layering, of a weakly welded interface between layers, under the action of an external stress field (of tectonic or topographic origin). Our simulations predict sill formation in several situations: i) when a horizontal weak interface is met by a propagating dike; ii) when a sufficiently high compressive tectonic environment is experienced by the ascending dike and iii) in case a dike, starting below a volcanic edifice, propagates away from the topographic load with a low dip angle. We find that dikes halt and stack when they become negatively buoyant and when they propagate with low overpressure at their upper tip toward a topographic load. Neutral buoyancy by itself cannot induce dikes to turn into sills, as previously suggested.

A quantitative study of the mechanisms governing dike propagation, dike arrest and sill formation,

MACCAFERRI, FRANCESCO;BONAFEDE, MAURIZIO;RIVALTA E.
2011

Abstract

Dikes and sills are the moving building blocks of the plumbing system of volcanoes and play a fundamental role in the accretionary processes of the crust. They nucleate, propagate, halt, resume propagation, and sometimes change trajectory with drastic implications for the outcome of eruptions (Sigmundsson et al., 2010). Their dynamics is still poorly understood, in particular when different external influencing factors are interacting. Here we apply a boundary element model to study dike and sill formation, propagation and arrest in different scenarios. We model dikes as finite batches of compressible fluid magma, propagating quasi-statically in an elastic medium, and calculate their trajectories by maximising the energy release of the magma-rock system. We consider dike propagation in presence of density layering, of density plus rigidity layering, of a weakly welded interface between layers, under the action of an external stress field (of tectonic or topographic origin). Our simulations predict sill formation in several situations: i) when a horizontal weak interface is met by a propagating dike; ii) when a sufficiently high compressive tectonic environment is experienced by the ascending dike and iii) in case a dike, starting below a volcanic edifice, propagates away from the topographic load with a low dip angle. We find that dikes halt and stack when they become negatively buoyant and when they propagate with low overpressure at their upper tip toward a topographic load. Neutral buoyancy by itself cannot induce dikes to turn into sills, as previously suggested.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/106262
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