• Open Access

Melt inclusion evidence for magma evolution at Mutnovsky volcano, Kamchatka



Mutnovsky Volcano, located in Kamchatka, Russia, is a young volcano that has formed a series of four overlapping stratocones over its approximately 80 ka history. Erupted products at Mutnovsky range in composition from basalts to dacites; basalts are the most common. In this study, melt inclusions from representative samples of all erupted compositions from all four eruptive centers were analyzed to investigate the causes of the compositional heterogeneity, melt evolution, and pre-eruptive magma dynamics. Melt inclusions from Mutnovsky were sampled in olivine, plagioclase, orthopyroxene, and clinopyroxene. The melt inclusion data represent a wide range of melt compositions, from basalt through rhyolite. Geochemical modeling of melt inclusion data, combined with field evidence and chemical zoning of plagioclase phenocrysts, indicates that fractional crystallization and magma mixing produced the range of erupted bulk rock compositions. The measured variability of melt inclusion compositions in each host mineral phase indicates that different host minerals trapped unique melts that evolved separately from one another. The melt inclusion data suggest that individual melt portions evolved by fractional crystallization, perhaps in different magma chambers, within the Mutnovsky plumbing system, and were mixed prior to eruption. Our data do not indicate whether the mixing events were the cause of eruption or are simply the manifestation of the eruption process.