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Disclosing the temperature of columnar jointing in lavas.

Lamur, Anthony and Lavallée, Yan and Iddon, Fiona E. and Hornby, Adrian J. and Kendrick, Jackie E. and von Aulock, Felix W. and Wadsworth, Fabian B. (2018) 'Disclosing the temperature of columnar jointing in lavas.', Nature communications., 9 (1). p. 1432.

Abstract

Columnar joints form by cracking during cooling-induced contraction of lava, allowing hydrothermal fluid circulation. A lack of direct observations of their formation has led to ambiguity about the temperature window of jointing and its impact on fluid flow. Here we develop a novel thermo-mechanical experiment to disclose the temperature of columnar jointing in lavas. Using basalts from Eyjafjallajökull volcano (Iceland) we show that contraction during cooling induces stress build-up below the solidus temperature (980 °C), resulting in localised macroscopic failure between 890 and 840 °C. This temperature window for incipient columnar jointing is supported by modelling informed by mechanical testing and thermal expansivity measurements. We demonstrate that columnar jointing takes place well within the solid state of volcanic rocks, and is followed by a nonlinear increase in system permeability of <9 orders of magnitude during cooling. Columnar jointing may promote advective cooling in magmatic-hydrothermal environments and fluid loss during geothermal drilling and thermal stimulation.

Item Type:Article
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03842-4
Publisher statement:Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Date accepted:16 April 2018
Date deposited:26 April 2018
Date of first online publication:12 April 2018
Date first made open access:26 April 2018

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