Melt inclusion constraints on volatile systematics and degassing history of the 2014–2015 Holuhraun eruption, Iceland

E. Bali*, M. E. Hartley, S. A. Halldórsson, G. H. Gudfinnsson, S. Jakobsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The mass of volatiles emitted during volcanic eruptions is often estimated by comparing the volatile contents of undegassed melt inclusions, trapped in crystals at an early stage of magmatic evolution, with that of the degassed matrix glass. Here we present detailed characterisation of magmatic volatiles (H2O, CO2, S, Fl and Cl) of crystal-hosted melt and fluid inclusions from the 2014–2015 Holuhraun eruption of the Bárðarbunga volcanic system, Iceland. Based on the ratios of magmatic volatiles to similarly incompatible trace elements, the undegassed primary volatile contents of the Holuhraun parental melt are estimated at 1500–1700 ppm CO2, 0.13–0.16 wt% H2O, 60–80 ppm Cl, 130–240 ppm F and 500–800 ppm S. High-density fluid inclusions indicate onset of crystallisation at pressures ≥ 0.4 GPa (~ 12 km depth) promoting deep degassing of CO2. Prior to the onset of degassing, the melt CO2 content may have reached 3000–4000 ppm, with the total magmatic CO2 budget estimated at 23–55 Mt. SO2 release commenced at 0.12 GPa (~ 3.6 km depth), eventually leading to entrapment of SO2 vapour in low-density fluid inclusions. We calculate the syn-eruptive volatile release as 22.2 Mt of magmatic H2O, 5.9–7.7 Mt CO2, and 11.3 Mt of SO2 over the course of the eruption; F and Cl release were insignificant. Melt inclusion constraints on syn-eruptive volatile release are similar to estimates made during in situ field monitoring, with the exception of H2O, where field measurements may be heavily biased by the incorporation of meteoric water.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We are grateful for the sampling work carried out by the 2014–2015 Holuhraun eruption team (University of Iceland) led by Morten S. Riishuus, Ármann Höskuldsson and Thorvaldur Thordarson, and by a team of researchers from the UK led by Evgenia Ilyinskaya. We are also grateful to the Civil Protection Department of the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police for making the work in the field possible. This work was financially supported by Natural Environment Research Council Grants [NE/M021130/1] and [IMF548/1114] and by the DFG core facility for high pressure research programme at the Bayerisches Geoinstitut, University of Bayreuth. We thank Richard Hinton and Cees-Jan de Hoog for their assistance with the SIMS analyses and Tamás Váczi (Eötvös University, Budapest) for his assistance during the Raman analyses. We thank Nicole Métrich and Maxim Portnyagin for their detailed and helpful reviews.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

Other keywords

  • Degassing
  • Holuhraun 2014–2015
  • Iceland
  • Mantle volatiles
  • Melt inclusion


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