Maar-Diatreme Volcanoes- A Review

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Journal Article: Maar-Diatreme Volcanoes- A Review

Maar-diatreme volcanoes are produced by explosive eruptions that cut deeply into the country rock. A maar is the crater cut into the ground and surrounded by an ejecta ring, while the diatreme structure continues downward and encloses diatreme and root zone deposits. Here we attempt an evenhanded review of maar-diatreme volcanology that extends from mafic to kimberlitic varieties, and from historical maar eruptions to deeply eroded or mined diatreme structures. We conclude that maar-diatreme eruptions are episodic. Ejecta rings provide invaluable insight into eruption processes and sequence, but are incomplete records of diatreme formation. Deposits within the diatreme structure include, in varying proportions, lower unbedded deposits sometimes typified by subvertical contacts among domains of debris emplaced sequentially, and upper bedded deposits formed by sedimentation on surfaces open to the atmosphere. A basal root zone comprises the transition from coherent magmatic feeder dike to clastic deposits formed by fragmentation of magma and enclosing country rock; root zones are irregular in form, and the clastic deposits are typically intruded by contorted dikes. Irregular root zone-like chaotic breccias cut by contorted dikes are also present within diatreme deposits, where they represent intra-diatreme fragmentation zones and record changes in the location of the explosion locus during eruption.

J. D. L. White and P. S. Ross

Published Journal 
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 2011

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J. D. L. White,P. S. Ross. 2011. Maar-Diatreme Volcanoes- A Review. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. (!) .