Rock substrates beneath active volcanoes are frequently subjected to temperature changes caused by the input of new magma from the depth and/or the intrusion of magma bodies of variable thickness within the subvolcanic rocks. The primary effect of the influx of hot magma is the heating of surrounding host rocks with the consequent modification of their physical and chemical properties. To assess mobilization in subvolcanic thermal regimes, we have performed radon (220Rn) thermal experiments on a phonolitic lava exposed to temperatures in the range of 100–900°C. Results from these experiments indicate that transient Rn signals are not unequivocally related to substrate deformation caused by tectonic stresses, but rather to the temperature-dependent diffusion of radionuclides through the structural discontinuities of rocks which serve as preferential pathways for gas release. Intense heating/cooling cycles are accompanied by rapid expansion and contraction of minerals. Rapid thermal cycling produced both inter- and intra-crystal microfracturing, as well as the formation of macroscopic faults. The increased number of diffusion paths dramatically intensified Rn migration, leading to much higher emissions than temperature-dependent transient changes. This geochemical behaviour is analogous to positive anomalies recorded on active volcanoes where dyke injections produce thermal stress and deformation in the host rocks. An increased Rn signal far away from the location of a magmatic intrusion is also consistent with microfracturing of subsurface rocks over long distances via thermal stress propagation and the opening of new pathways.

Transient to stationary radon ( 220 Rn) emissions from a phonolitic rock exposed to subvolcanic temperatures

Iezzi G.;
2019

Abstract

Rock substrates beneath active volcanoes are frequently subjected to temperature changes caused by the input of new magma from the depth and/or the intrusion of magma bodies of variable thickness within the subvolcanic rocks. The primary effect of the influx of hot magma is the heating of surrounding host rocks with the consequent modification of their physical and chemical properties. To assess mobilization in subvolcanic thermal regimes, we have performed radon (220Rn) thermal experiments on a phonolitic lava exposed to temperatures in the range of 100–900°C. Results from these experiments indicate that transient Rn signals are not unequivocally related to substrate deformation caused by tectonic stresses, but rather to the temperature-dependent diffusion of radionuclides through the structural discontinuities of rocks which serve as preferential pathways for gas release. Intense heating/cooling cycles are accompanied by rapid expansion and contraction of minerals. Rapid thermal cycling produced both inter- and intra-crystal microfracturing, as well as the formation of macroscopic faults. The increased number of diffusion paths dramatically intensified Rn migration, leading to much higher emissions than temperature-dependent transient changes. This geochemical behaviour is analogous to positive anomalies recorded on active volcanoes where dyke injections produce thermal stress and deformation in the host rocks. An increased Rn signal far away from the location of a magmatic intrusion is also consistent with microfracturing of subsurface rocks over long distances via thermal stress propagation and the opening of new pathways.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/712127
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