Bulletin of Volcanology

, 76:785 | Cite as

Magma–ice–sediment interactions and the origin of lava/hyaloclastite sequences in the Síða formation, South Iceland

  • Tenley J. Banik
  • Paul J. Wallace
  • Ármann Höskuldsson
  • Calvin F. Miller
  • Charles R. Bacon
  • David J. Furbish
Research Article


Products of subglacial volcanism can illuminate reconstructions of paleo-environmental conditions on both local and regional scales. Competing interpretations of Pleistocene conditions in south Iceland have been proposed based on an extensive sequence of repeating lava-and-hyaloclastite deposits in the Síða district. We propose here a new eruptive model and refine the glacial environment during eruption based on field research and analytical data for the Síða district lava/hyaloclastite units. Field observations from this and previous studies reveal a repeating sequence of cogenetic lava and hyaloclastite deposits extending many kilometers from their presumed eruptive source. Glasses from lava selvages and unaltered hyaloclastites have very low H2O, S, and CO2 concentrations, indicating significant degassing at or close to atmospheric pressure prior to quenching. We also present a scenario that demonstrates virtual co-emplacement of the two eruptive products. Our data and model results suggest repeated eruptions under thin ice or partially subaerial conditions, rather than eruption under a thick ice sheet or subglacial conditions as previously proposed.


Síða Magma/water interaction Lava/hyaloclastite sequences Glaciovolcanism Volatiles Degassing 



TJB thanks Thor Thordarson, Guðrún Larsen, and Níels Óskarsson for helpful discussions during field research and writing. Many thanks also go to Sigurður Jakobsson and Léo Kristjánsson at the University of Iceland for initial FTIR work and field equipment, respectively. This manuscript was significantly improved by helpful reviews from Alex Nichols, R.J. Brown, Benjamin Edwards, and Larry Mastin. TJB acknowledges financial support from American-Scandinavian Foundation and Geological Society of America Penrose awards, as well as support from Rannís, the Icelandic research society. Funding was also provided by NSF grant EAR-0409876 to CFM.

Supplementary material

445_2013_785_MOESM1_ESM.docx (509 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 508 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tenley J. Banik
    • 1
  • Paul J. Wallace
    • 2
  • Ármann Höskuldsson
    • 3
  • Calvin F. Miller
    • 1
  • Charles R. Bacon
    • 4
  • David J. Furbish
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Earth SciencesUniversity of IcelandReykjavikIceland
  4. 4.U.S. Geological SurveyMenlo ParkUSA

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