Flux of volcanic CO2 emission estimated from melt inclusions and fluid transport modelling

Shumpei Yoshimura, Michihiko Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Volcanic CO2 degassing is considered the primary process that controls the global carbon cycle over geological timescales. However, fluxes of CO2 from individual volcanoes, in particular those in past activities, have been poorly constrained. One way to estimate the flux is by using the H2O-CO2 systematics of melt inclusions, which, according to petrological studies, records fluxing of a deep-derived CO2-rich fluid in the deep to shallow-level crustal magmatic systems. Assuming that this fluid fluxing is the process of volcanic CO2 emission, we quantified the fluxes of CO2 by combining a fluid transport model with melt inclusion data. We formulated CO2 fluxing as an advective fluid flow in a basaltic magma column with exchanging volatiles, and applied it to the melt inclusion data from Mount Etna, the type locality of a CO2-emitting volcano. The flux of CO2 was calculated to be 2.4-6.0kt/day, which is consistent with the observed volcanic CO2 emission rate of 1-10kt/day. We propose that this method potentially provides a means to quantify CO2 emission rates in past volcanic activities. Because CO2 fluxing is an open-system process, the estimated CO2 emission over geological timescales evaluated with this method should give much higher values than evaluations based simply on the volume of the erupted magmas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-503
Number of pages7
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 1


  • CO emission
  • Fluid transport
  • Magma
  • Melt inclusion
  • Volcanic degassing


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