Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Drymoni K., Browning J., Gudmundsson A. (2020)

Dyke-arrest scenarios in extensional regimes: insights from field observations and numerical models, Santorini, Greece

Revista : Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Páginas : 106854
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


During a volcanic unrest period with magma-chamber rupture, fluid-driven fractures (dykes) are injected either from deep reservoirs or shallow magma chambers. Subsequently, the dykes follow propagation paths towards the surface, some eventually reaching the surface to erupt while others become arrested. Here we study dyke paths resulting in eruption or arrest in an excellent 5-km wide exposure of the northern caldera wall of the Santorini volcano in Greece. Mapping of >90 dyke segments shows that they were emplaced in a host rock consisting of layers (of breccia, tuff, scoria, and lava) with a wide variety of mechanical properties. At the contacts, some dykes are arrested or deflected and hence change their propagation paths. Here we combine the field data with numerical models to explore dyke paths resulting in (1) arrest and (2) eruption. We investigate the effect of different host-rock mechanical properties, magmatic overpressures, and tectonic loading on dyke paths. We find that layers with unfavorable local stresses for dyke propagation, namely stress barriers, result from layer stiffness (Young’s modulus) contrast and thickness variations and are a common cause of dyke arrest. The study also shows how the details of the dyke path, and eventually dyke-fed eruptions, depend on the mechanical layering and local stresses in volcanoes. The results are of great importance for understanding dyke-propagation paths, and the likelihood of eruption, during unrest periods, particularly in stratovolcanoes fed by shallow chambers, such as Santorini.