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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: April 2020

6 - Formation and Dynamics of Magma Chambers and Reservoirs

Summary

A magma chamber is the heart of every polygenetic volcano. Many, presumably most, polygenetic volcanoes have two magma chambers: one shallow crustal chamber and another deep-seated chamber, which we here refer to as a reservoir. Together, the reservoir and the shallow chamber constitute a double magma chamber. The complex interaction between the source reservoir and the chamber determines the frequency of injection of inclined sheets and dikes. Together with the mechanical layering and local stresses in the crustal segment, the double chamber also largely controls the frequency and sizes of eruptions in the volcano to which it supplies magma. We have learned that most shallow chambers evolve from sills and are located in the upper crust. The deep-seated reservoirs, by contrast, are normally located in the lower crust or upper mantle. If located in the crust, they may also evolve from sills; if located in the upper mantle, they may evolve as magma accumulations in regions of low potential energy. The accurate determination of the location of active magma chambers is generally difficult.

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