EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Microstructure linking external forcing to supereruption

Boda Liu and Chao Qi
Boda Liu and Chao Qi
  • Chinese Academy of Science, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, China (

Large rhyolitic eruptions with ejecta of transcontinental scale have catastrophic effects on the environment. Despite its importance in volcanic hazard assessment and potentially influencing climate, the triggering of supervolcanoes remains enigmatic. Many valid mechanisms for mobilizing an eruptible magma reservoir exist, however, the fundamental question of how to initially form the magma reservoir responsible for a supereruption is unknown. Here we show that the deformation microstructure of partially molten rock could accelerate melt extraction and assemble a large eruptible magma reservoir. By modeling observed shape and orientation of melt pockets in deformed samples, we predict that deformation microstructure forms a melt network that enhances melt flux by up to 30 times. Our results suggest that compressing a crystal-rich magmatic mush in volcanic arcs or under glacial loading can assemble a large crystal-poor magma reservoir in a few thousand years, a timescale in consistent with petrological evidence of rapid assembly. Because external stress is common to most magmatic systems, deformation microstructure could be a ubiquitous catalyst for magmatic activities including supereruptions.

How to cite: Liu, B. and Qi, C.: Microstructure linking external forcing to supereruption, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-10631,, 2023.

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