Volcanoes are not fed by molten magma formed in large chambers, finds a new study, overturning classic ideas about volcanic eruptions. Instead, the study suggests that volcanoes are fed by so-called ‘mush reservoirs’ – areas of mostly solid crystals with magma in the small spaces between the crystals. Our understanding of volcanic processes, including those leading to the largest eruptions, has been based on magma being stored in liquid-filled ‘magma’ chambers – large, underground caves full of liquid magma. However, these have never been observed. The new study, by researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Bristol and published today in Nature, suggests the fundamental assumption of a magma chamber needs a re-think.
Source: New model suggests volcanoes fed by ‘mush’ reservoirs not molten magma chambers