The causes of spatiotemporal variations in erupted fluxes and compositions along a volcanic arc

C. B. Till, A. J.R. Kent, G. A. Abers, H. A. Janiszewski, J. B. Gaherty, B. W. Pitcher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Decades of study on volcanic arcs have provided insight into the overarching processes that control magmatism, and how these processes manifest at individual volcanoes. However, the causes of ubiquitous and dramatic intra-arc variations in volcanic flux and composition remain largely unresolved. Investigating such arc-scale issues requires greater quantitative comparison of geophysical and geochemical data, linked through sets of common intensive variables. To work towards these goals, we use observed lava compositions to estimate the heat budget associated with Quaternary volcanism in the Cascades Arc and compare this to the heat required to produce the observed geophysical properties of the crust. Here we show that along-strike volcanic variability in the Quaternary Cascades Arc is primarily related to variations in the flux of basalt into the crust, rather than variations in their crustal storage history. This approach shows promise for studying other large-scale frontier geologic problems in volcanic arcs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1350
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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