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Durham University

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Plail, M., Barclay, J., Humphreys, M.C.S., Edmonds, M., Herd, R.A. & Christopher, T.E. (2014). Characterization of mafic enclaves in the erupted products of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat, 2009 to 2010. In The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010. Wadge, G., Robertson, R.E.A. & Voight, B. The Geological Society of London. 39: 343-360.

Author(s) from Durham


Lavas from the current eruption of the Soufrière Hills Volcano (SHV), Montserrat exhibit evidence for magma mingling, related to the intrusion of mafic magma at depth. We present detailed field, petrological, textural and geochemical descriptions of mafic enclaves in andesite erupted during 2009–2010, and subdivide the enclaves into three distinct types: type A are mafic, glassy with chilled margins and few inherited phenocrysts; type B are more evolved with high inherited phenocryst content and little glass, and are interpreted as significantly hybridized; type C are composite, with a mafic interior (type A) and a hybrid exterior (type B). All enclaves define tight linear compositional trends, interpreted as mixing between a mafic end member (type A) and host andesite. Enclave glasses are rhyolitic, owing to extensive crystallization during quenching. Type A quench crystallization is driven by rapid thermal equilibration during injection into the andesite. Conversely, type B enclaves form in a hybridized melt layer, which ponded near the base of the chamber and cooled more slowly. Vesiculation near the mafic–silicic interface resulted in disruption of the hybridized layer and the formation of the type B enclaves. The composite enclaves represent an interface between types A and B, suggesting multiple episodes of mafic injection.