Advertisement

Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 74, Issue 3, pp 657–675 | Cite as

Characteristics of submarine pumice-rich density current deposits sourced from turbulent mixing of subaerial pyroclastic flows at the shoreline: field and experimental assessment

  • S. R. AllenEmail author
  • A. Freundt
  • K. Kurokawa
Research Article

Abstract

This study investigates the types of subaqueous deposits that occur when hot pyroclastic flows turbulently mix with water at the shoreline through field studies of the Znp marine tephra in Japan and flume experiments where hot tephra sample interacted with water. The Znp is a very thick, pumice-rich density current deposit that was sourced from subaerial pyroclastic flows entering the Japan Sea in the Pliocene. Notable characteristics are well-developed grain size and density grading (lithic-rich base, pumice-rich middle, and ash-rich top), preponderance of sedimentary lithic clasts picked up from the seafloor during transport, fine ash depletion in coarse facies, and presence of curviplanar pumice clasts. Flume experiments provide a framework for interpreting the origin and proximity to source of the Znp tephra. On contact of hot tephra sample with water, steam explosions produced a gas-supported pyroclastic density current that advanced over the water while a water-supported density current was produced on the tank floor from the base of a turbulent mixing zone. Experimental deposits comprise proximal lithic breccia, medial pumice breccia, and distal fine ash. Experiments undertaken with cold, water-saturated slurries of tephra sample and water did not produce proximal lithic breccias but a medial basal lithic breccia beneath an upper pumice breccia. Results suggest the characteristics and variations in Znp facies were strongly controlled by turbulent mixing and quenching, proximity to the shoreline, and depositional setting within the basin. Presence of abundant curviplanar pumice clasts in submarine breccias reflects brittle fracture and dismembering that can occur during fragmentation at the vent or during quenching. Subsequent transport in water-supported pumiceous density currents preserves the fragmental textures. Careful study is needed to distinguish the products of subaerial versus subaqueous eruptions.

Keywords

Experiment Znp tephra Pyroclastic density current Submarine Pumice 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We acknowledge the help of Martin Launer in constructing the experiments and Makiko Tan, Haruna Yahagi, and Norie Fujibayashi in the field. J McPhie, R Fiske, M Manga, and an anonymous reviewer made useful comments on a previous version of this manuscript. This research was undertaken while SA was an Australian Research Council Research Fellow. The research was funded by the Australian Academy of Science Scientific Visits to Europe Award for Young Researchers (SA), the Australian Academy of Science bilaterial exchange program with the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (SA) and grants Fr947/7-1 and 7–2 from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (AF).

Supplementary material

ESM 1

WMV 20,200 kb (WMV 20200 kb)

ESM 2

WMV 57,075 kb (WMV 57075 kb)

ESM 3

WMV 32,833 kb (WMV 32833 kb)

445_2011_553_MOESM4_ESM.jpg (2.3 mb)
ESM 4 Flume experiment setup (a) on the inset floor and (b) on the ramp. The sample (dark grey) is housed in box to the left. Plastic plates line the inset floor. V = video, P = pressure sensor, T = thermocouple, measurements in cm (modified from Allen and Freundt 2006).
445_2011_553_MOESM5_ESM.jpg (2.3 mb)
ESM 5 Viscosity of tephra/water slurries at various water contents determined by Stokes Law. Experimental slurries are shown and include S28a which was too viscous to transform into a turbulent gravity flow.
445_2011_553_MOESM6_ESM.doc (34 kb)
ESM 6 DOC (DOC 33.5 kb)

References

  1. Allen SR, Freundt A (2006) Resedimentation of cold pumiceous ignimbrite into water: facies transformations simulated in flume experiments. Sedimentology 53:717–734CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen SR, McPhie J (2000) Water-settling and resedimentation of submarine rhyolitic pumice at Yali, eastern Aegean, Greece. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 95:285–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allen SR, McPhie J (2009) Products of neptunian eruptions. Geology 37:639–642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Allen SR, Fiske RS, Cashman KV (2008) Quenching of steam-charged pumice: implications for submarine pyroclastic volcanism. Earth Planet Sci Lett 274:40–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Allen SR, Fiske RS, Tamura T (2010) Effects of water depth on pumice formation in submarine domes at Sumisu, Izu-Bonin arc, western Pacific. Geology 38:391–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bagnold RA (1954) Experiments on a gravity-free dispersion of large solid sphere in a Newtonian fluid under shear. Proc Royal Soc Ser A 225:49–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carey S (1997) Influence of convective sedimentation on the formation of widespread tephra fall layers in the deep sea. Geology 25:839–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cashman KV, Fiske RS (1991) Fallout of pyroclastic debris from submarine volcanic eruptions. Science 253:275–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dufek J, Manga M, Staedter M (2007) Littoral blasts: pumice–water heat transfer and the conditions for steam explosions when pyroclastic flows enter the ocean. J Geophys Res 112:B11201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fisher RV (1965) Settling velocities of glass shards. Deep-Sea Res 12:345–353Google Scholar
  11. Fisher RV (1983) Flow transformations in sediment gravity flows. Geology 11:273–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Freundt A (2003) Entrance of hot pyroclastic flows into the sea: experimental observations. Bull Volcanol 65:144–164Google Scholar
  13. Kurokawa K, Tomita Y (1998) The Znp-Ohta ash; an early Pliocene widespread subaqueous tephra deposit in central Japan. J Geol Soc Japan 104:558–561CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kurokawa K, Takahashi H, Aono N, Abe Y, Iizuka K, Sugawara N, Chino K (1987) Subaqueous tephra layers in the Shiiya and Nishiyama Formations in the northern Nishiyama Oil Field, Niigata Prefecture, central Japan. Mem Fac Educ Niigata Univ (Natural Sci) 29:1–14, Japanese with English abstractGoogle Scholar
  15. Kurokawa K, Maruyama E, Sawaguri T (1989) Subaqueous tephra layers in the Shiiya and Nishiyama Formations in the northern Chuo Oil Field Niigata, Prefecture, central Japan. Mem Fac Educ Niigata Univ (Natural Sci) 30:39–64, Japanese with English abstractGoogle Scholar
  16. Kurokawa K, Noguchi N, Higuchi Y (2002) Tephra marker beds and their correlation in the Higashiyama Hills east of Nagaoka City (part 2). Detection of the Znp and Ysc Tephra beds in Pliocene series and their significance. Mem Fac Educ and Human Sci, Niigata Univ (Natural Sci) 5:41–68Google Scholar
  17. Kurokawa K, Higuchi Y, Aoki T, Kawaksaki Y (2004) Correlation of the early Pliocene Znp Tephra Bed to the Hjp Tephra Beda round Yoneyama in the Niigata region, central Japan. Mem Fac Educ and Human Sci, Niigata Univ (Natural Sci) 6:135–148Google Scholar
  18. Lowe DR (1982) Sediment gravity flows; II. Depositional models with special reference to the deposits of high-density turbidity currents. J Sediment Res 52:279–297Google Scholar
  19. Mandeville CW, Carey S, Sigurdsson H (1996) Sedimentology of the Krakatau 1883 submarine pyroclastic deposits. Bull Volcanol 57:512–529CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Manga M, Patel A, Dufek J (2011) Rounding of pumice clasts during transport: field measurements and laboratory studies. Bull Volcanol 73:321–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Manville V, White JDL, Houghton BF, Wilson CJN (1998) The saturation behaviour of pumice and some sedimentological implications. Sediment Geol 119:5–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. McLeod P, Carey S, Sparks RSJ (1999) Behaviour of particle-laden flows into the ocean: Experimental simulation and geological implications. Sedimentology 46:523–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Nagahashi Y, Takahashi T, Yanagisawa Y, Kurokawa K, Yoshida T (2004) Widespread tephra beds in the Pliocene Dainenji Formation in the Pacific coast, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. Earth Sci (Chikyu Kagaku) 58:337–344 (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  24. Nakayama K, Yoshikawa S (1997) Depositional process of primary to reworked volcaniclastics on an alluvial plain: an example from the Lower Pliocene Ohta tephra bed of the Tokai Group, central Japan. Sediment Geol 107:211–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nakayama K, Yoshikawa S, Nagahashi Y, Satoguichi Y, Kono K (1994) A pyroclastic flow deposit intercalated in the upper Cenozoic Tokai Group, central Japan. J Geol Soc Japan 100:880–883CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Oikawa T, Furusawa A, Takahashi K (2005) Pliocene widespread tephra of the Komoro Group in central Japan; correlation between the Znp-Ohta tephra bed and the U-1 pyroclastic flow deposit in the Okui Formation. J Geol Soc Japan 111:308–311 (in Japanese with English abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Satoguchi Y, Higuchi Y, Kurokawa L (2005) Correlation of the Ohta tephra bed in the Tokai group with a tephra bed in the Miura Group, central Japan. J Geol Soc Japan 111:74–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Simpson JE (1987) Gravity currents in the environment and the laboratory. Wiley, New York, pp 1–244Google Scholar
  29. Stroberg TW, Manga M, Dufek J (2010) Heat transfer coefficients of natural volcanic clasts. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 94:214–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Takeuchi K, Yoshimura T, Kato H (1996) Geology of the Kakizaki district with geologicial sheet Map at 1:50,000. Geol Surv Japan 1–48 (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  31. Tamura I, Yamazaki H (2004) Tephrochronological study of the Hokuriku Group—the age of the Hokuriku Group by tephra stratigraphy and correlation to the widespread tephra layers. J Geol Soc Japan 110:417–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tamura I, Yamazaki H, Mizuno K (2008) Characteristics for the recognition of Pliocene and early Pleistocene marker tephras in central Japan. Quat Int 178:85–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Trofimovs J, Amy L, Boudon G, Deplus C, Doyle E, Fournier N, Hart MB, Komorowski JC, Le Friant A, Lock EJ, Pudsey C, Ryan G, Sparks RSJ, Talling PJ (2006) Submarine pyroclastic deposits formed at the Soufrière Hills volcano, Montserrat (1995–2003): what happens when pyroclastic flows enter the ocean? Geology 34:549–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Walker GPL (1985) Origin of coarse lithic breccias near ignimbrite source vents. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 25:157–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Walker GPL, Wilson L, Bowell ELG (1971) Explosive volcanic eruptions—1 the rate of fall of pyroclasts. Geophys J R astr Soc 22:377–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Watanabe M (1990) Stratigraphy of the Neogene sequence in the Himi-Nadura area, Toyama Prefecture, central Japan—with special reference to the hiatus between the Sugata Formation and overlying Formations. J Geol Soc Japan 96:915–936 (in Japanese with English abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Whitham AG (1989) The behaviour of subaerially produced pyroclstic flows in a subaqueous environment: evidence from the Roseau eruption, Dominica, West Indies. Mar Geol 86:27–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Whitham AG, Sparks RSJ (1986) Pumice. Bull Volcanol 48:209–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ARC Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits and School of Earth SciencesUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  2. 2.IFM-GEOMAR Leibniz-Institute for Marine SciencesKielGermany
  3. 3.Department of Earth Science, Faculty of Education and Human SciencesNiigata UniversityNiigataJapan
  4. 4.NiigataJapan

Personalised recommendations