The 1669 eruption at Mount Etna: chronology, petrology and geochemistry, with inferences on the magma sources and ascent mechanisms
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Analysis of the petrochemical characters of the 1669 Etnean lavas shows that they can be grouped into two sets: SET1 lavas were erupted from 11 to 20 March and are more primitive in composition than SET2, erupted later until the end of activity. Both sets may be interpreted as the result of crystallization under different conditions of two primary magmas which are compositionally slightly distinct and which fractionate different volumetric proportions of minerals. To explain why more mafic lavas (SET1) were erupted earlier than more acid ones (SET2), we argue that new deeper magma rose up into a reservoir where residing magma was fractionating. Density calculations demonstrate that new magma is less dense and may originate a plume, rapidly rising through the residing magma which is cooler and more volatile-depleted than the new magma. Calculations of uprise velocity assuming laminar flow are consistent with this hypothesis.
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