Vertically extensive and unstable magmatic systems: a unified view of igneous processes

Katharine V. Cashman*, R. Stephen J Sparks, Jonathan D. Blundy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

317 Citations (Scopus)
1157 Downloads (Pure)


Volcanoes are an expression of their underlying magmatic systems. Over the past three decades, the classical focus on upper crustal magma chambers has expanded to consider magmatic processes throughout the crust. A transcrustal perspective must balance slow (plate tectonic) rates of melt generation and segregation in the lower crust with new evidence for rapid melt accumulation in the upper crust before many volcanic eruptions. Reconciling these observations is engendering active debate about the physical state, spatial distribution, and longevity of melt in the crust. Here we review evidence for transcrustal magmatic systems and highlight physical processes that might affect the growth and stability of melt-rich layers, focusing particularly on conditions that cause them to destabilize, ascend, and accumulate in voluminous but ephemeral shallow magma chambers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1280
Number of pages9
Issue number6331
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2017

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