Groundmass pargasite in the 1991-1995 dacite of Unzen volcano: Phase stability experiments and volcanological implications

Hiroaki Sato, Setsuya Nakada, Toshitsugu Fujii, Michihiko Nakamura, Keiko Suzuki-Kamata

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Pargasite commonly occurs in the dacitic groundmass of the 1991-1995 eruption products of Unzen volcano. We described the occurrence and chemical compositions of amphibole in the dacite, and also carried out melting experiments to determine the low-pressure stability limit of amphibole in the dacite. The 1991-1995 ejecta of the Unzen volcano show petrographic evidence of magma mixing, such as reverse compositional zoning of plagioclase and amphibole phenocrysts, and we used a groundmass separate as a starting material for the experiments. Reversed experiments show that the maximum temperature for the crystallization of amphibole is 930°C at 196 MPa, 900°C at 98 MPa, and 820°C at 49 MPa. Compared with the experimental results on the Mount St. Helens dacite, present experiments on the Unzen dacitic groundmass show that amphibole is stable to pressures ca. 50 MPa lower at 850°C. Available Fe-Ti oxide thermometry indicates the crystallization temperature of the groundmass of the Unzen dacite to be 880 ± 30°C, suggesting that the groundmass pargasite crystallized at > 70 MPa, corresponding to a depth of more than 3 km in the conduit. The chlorine content of the groundmass pargasite is much lower than that of phenocrystic magnesiohornblende in the 1991-1995 dacite of Unzen volcano, indicating that vesiculation/degassing of magma took place before the crystallization of the groundmass pargasite. The present study shows that the magma was water oversaturated and that the degassing of magma along with magma mixing caused crystallization of the groundmass amphibole at depths of more than 3 km in the conduit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-212
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Apr


  • Cl content of amphibole
  • Degassing
  • Groundmass crystallization
  • Magma mixing
  • Pargasite
  • Unzen volcano


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