Magmatic systems are the engines driving volcanic eruptions and the source of fluids responsible for the formation of porphyry-type ore deposits. Sudden variations of pressure, temperature and volume in magmatic systems can produce unrest, which may culminate in a volcanic eruption and/or the abrupt release of ore-forming fluids. Such variations of the conditions within magmatic systems are commonly ascribed to the injection of new magma from depth. However, as magmas fractionating at depth or rising to the upper crust release CO2-rich fluids, the interaction between carbonic fluids and H2O-rich magmas stored in the upper crust (CO2 flushing), must also be a common process affecting the evolution of subvolcanic magma reservoirs. Here, we investigate the effect of gas injection on the stability and chemical evolution of magmatic systems. We calculate the chemical and physical evolution of magmas subjected to CO2-flushing using rhyolite-MELTS. We compare the calculations with a set of melt inclusion data for Mt. St. Helens, Merapi, Etna, and Stromboli volcanoes. We provide an approach that can be used to distinguish between melt inclusions trapped during CO2 flushing, magma ascent and decompression, or those affected by post-entrapment H2O-loss. Our results show that CO2 flushing is a widespread process in both felsic and mafic magmatic systems. Depending upon initial magma crystallinity and duration of CO2 input, flushing can either lead to volcanic eruption or fluid release. We suggest that CO2 flushing is a fundamental process modulating the behaviour and chemical evolution of crustal magmatic systems.
- CO2 flushing
- ore deposits