Kyle Philip R.

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Philip R.

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  • Article
    A new Holocene eruptive history of Erebus volcano, Antarctica using cosmogenic 3He and 36Cl exposure ages
    (Elsevier, 2015-09-05) Parmelee, David E. F. ; Kyle, Philip R. ; Kurz, Mark D. ; Marrero, Shasta M. ; Phillips, Fred M.
    The ages of recent effusive eruptions on Erebus volcano, Antarctica are poorly known. Published 40Ar/39Ar ages of the 10 youngest “post-caldera” lava flows are unreliable because of the young ages of the flows (<10 ka) and the presence of excess 40Ar. Here we use cosmogenic 3He and 36Cl to provide new ages for the 10 youngest flows and 3 older summit flows, including a newly recognized flow distinguished by its exposure age. Estimated eruption ages of the post-caldera flows, assuming no erosion or prior snow cover, range from 4.52 ± 0.08 ka to 8.50 ± 0.19 ka, using Lifton et al. (2014) to scale cosmogenic production rates. If the older Lal (1991)/Stone (2000) model is used to scale production rates, calculated ages are older by 16–25%. Helium-3 and chlorine-36 exposure ages measured on the same samples show excellent agreement. Helium-3 ages measured on clinopyroxene and olivine from the same samples are discordant, probably due in part to lower-than-expected 3He production rates in the Fe-rich olivine. Close agreement of multiple clinopyroxene 3He ages from each flow indicates that the effects of past snow coverage on the exposure ages have been minimal. The new cosmogenic ages differ considerably from published 40Ar/39Ar and 36Cl ages and reveal that the post-caldera flows were erupted during relatively brief periods of effusive activity spread over an interval of ∼4 ka. The average eruption rate over this interval is estimated to be 0.01 km3/ka. Because the last eruption was at least 4 ka ago, and the longest repose interval between the 10 youngest eruptions is ∼1 ka, we consider the most recent period of effusive activity to have ended.
  • Preprint
    Geochemistry and mineralogy of the phonolite lava lake, Erebus volcano, Antarctica: 1972–2004 and comparison with older lavas
    ( 2007-10-14) Kelly, Peter J. ; Kyle, Philip R. ; Dunbar, Nelia W. ; Sims, Kenneth W. W.
    Mount Erebus, Antarctica, is a large (3794 m) alkaline open-conduit stratovolcano that hosts a vigorously convecting and persistently degassing lake of anorthoclase phonolite magma. The composition of the lake was investigated by analyzing glass and mineral compositions in lava bombs erupted between 1972 and 2004. Matrix glass, titanomagnetite, olivine, clinopyroxene, and fluor-apatite compositions are invariant and show that the magmatic temperature (~1000°C) and oxygen fugacity (ΔlogFMQ = -0.9) have been stable. Large temperature variations at the lake surface (ca. 400 - 500°C) are not reflected in mineral compositions. Anorthoclase phenocrysts up to 10 cm in length feature a restricted compositional range (An10.3-22.9Ab62.8-68.1Or11.4-27.2) with complex textural and compositional zoning. Anorthoclase textures and compositions indicate crystallization occurs at low degrees of effective undercooling. We propose shallow water exsolution causes crystallization to occur and shallow convection repeats this process multiple times, yielding extremely large anorthoclase crystals. Minor variations in eruptive activity from 1972 to 2004 are decoupled from magma compositions. The variations probably relate to changes in conduit geometry within the volcano and/or variable input of CO2-rich volatiles into the upper-level magma chamber from deeper in the system. Eleven bulk samples of phonolite lava from the summit plateau that range in age from 0 ± 4 ka to 17 ± 8 ka were analyzed for major and trace elements. Small compositional variations are controlled by anorthoclase content. The lavas are indistinguishable from modern bulk lava bomb compositions and demonstrate that Erebus volcano has been erupting lava and tephra from the summit region with the same bulk composition for ~17 ka.