Multi-stage collapse events in the South Soufrière Hills, Montserrat, as recorded in marine sediment cores


Cassidy, M., Trofimovs, J., Watt, S.F.L., Palmer, M.R., Taylor, R.N., Gernon, T.M., Talling, P.J. and Le Friant, A. (2014) Multi-stage collapse events in the South Soufrière Hills, Montserrat, as recorded in marine sediment cores. In, Wadge, G., Robertson, R. and Voight, B. (eds.) The eruption of Soufrière Hills volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010. London, GB, Geological Society of London, 383-397. (Memoirs of the Geological Society, 39). (doi:10.1144/M39.20).

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Description/Abstract

We present new evidence for sector collapses of the South Soufrière Hills (SSH) edifice, Montserrat during the mid-Pleistocene. High-resolution geophysical data provide evidence for sector collapse, producing an approximately 1 km3 submarine collapse deposit to the south of SSH. Sedimentological and geochemical analyses of submarine deposits sampled by sediment cores suggest that they were formed by large multi-stage flank failures of the subaerial SSH edifice into the sea. This work identifies two distinct geochemical suites within the SSH succession on the basis of trace-element and Pb-isotope compositions. Volcaniclastic turbidites in the cores preserve these chemically heterogeneous rock suites. However, the subaerial chemostratigraphy is reversed within the submarine sediment cores. Sedimentological analysis suggests that the edifice failures produced high-concentration turbidites and that the collapses occurred in multiple stages, with an interval of at least 2 ka between the first and second failure. Detailed field and petrographical observations, coupled with SEM image analysis, shows that the SSH volcanic products preserve a complex record of magmatic activity. This activity consisted of episodic explosive eruptions of andesitic pumice, probably triggered by mafic magmatic pulses and followed by eruptions of poorly vesiculated basaltic scoria, and basaltic lava flows.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 9781862396302 (hardback)
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Divisions: Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences > Ocean and Earth Science > Geochemistry
Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences > Ocean and Earth Science > Geology & Geophysics
National Oceanography Centre (NERC) > Marine Geoscience
ePrint ID: 338926
Date Deposited: 17 May 2012 14:12
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2014 08:40
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/338926

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