Reconstructing the eruption magnitude and energy budgets for the pre-historic eruption of the monogenetic ∼5 ka Mt. Gambier Volcanic Complex, south-eastern Australia
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- van Otterloo, J. & Cas, R.A.F. Bull Volcanol (2013) 75: 769. doi:10.1007/s00445-013-0769-3
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Understanding explosive volcanic eruptions, especially phreatomagmatic eruptions, their intensities and energy budgets is of major importance when it comes to risk and hazard studies. With only a few historic occurrences of phreatomagmatic activity, a large amount of our understanding comes from the study of pre-historic volcanic centres, which causes issues when it comes to preservation and vegetation. In this research, we show that using 3D geometrical modelling it is possible to obtain volume estimates for different deposits of a pre-historic, complex, monogenetic centre, the Mt. Gambier Volcanic Complex, south-eastern Australia. Using these volumes, we further explore the energy budgets and the magnitude of this eruption (VEI 4), including dispersal patterns (eruption columns varying between 5 and 10 km, dispersed towards north-east to south), to further our understanding of intraplate, monogenetic eruptions involving phreatomagmatic activity. We also compare which thermodynamic model fits best in the creation of the maar crater of Mt. Gambier: the major-explosion-dominated model or the incremental growth model. In this case, the formation of most of the craters can best be explained by the latter model.