Complex Strombolian and Phreatomagmatic Volcanism of Rothenberg Scoria Cone, East Eifel Volcanic Field

Schmincke H-U,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
The Pleistocene basanite-tephrite Rothenberg cone complex was built by an alter- nation of strombolian and phreatomagmatic phases of explosive eruption. Two main centres, on a one km long NNE-trending fissure, were active during its construction. The strombolian deposits from three discrete facies corresponding to the crater-fill and inner wall and outer wall environments on the cone. The outer wall facies consists of an alternation of 1. 'normal' coarse-grained, relatively well- sorted lapilli and bomb beds, and 2. finer-grained poorly-sorted lapilli beds. Evidence suggests that the former was pro- duced by open-vent lava fountaining, with balanced magma supply and discharge rates, and the latter are the products of eruptions during partial blockage of the vent, by collapse of wall-rock, and formation of a degassed crust on the magma. The resulting explosions there- fore ejected a mixture of fresh actively ves- iculating magma, older partially degassed lava and material recycled from the wall of the cones. The phreatomagmatic deposits are an alternation of moderately-sorted fall beds and thinner ash-rich pyroclastic surge and rain-flushed units. The clast populations are much more diverse than strombolian ones, including abundant wall rock fragments from 0-100 m depth. The juvenile (magmatic) particles range from highly vesicular scoria to dense 'bread-crusted' clasts, and contain abundant small wall rock inclusions. The phreatomagmatic phases are products of explosive interaction of small batches of magma with shallow groundwater. Vesiculation of this magma played a small but significant role throughout the fragmentation.
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