Stress fields around magma chambers influenced by elastic thermo-mechanical deformation: implications for forecasting chamber failure

Browning J., KARAOĞLU Ö., BAYER Ö. , Turgay M., Acocella V.

Bulletin of Volcanology, vol.83, no.7, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 83 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00445-021-01471-2
  • Title of Journal : Bulletin of Volcanology


© 2021, International Association of Volcanology & Chemistry of the Earth's Interior.Defining the conditions that lead to the rupture of a magma chamber is essential to forecast eruptions. So far, models simulating magma chamber dynamics have neglected the effects of elastic thermal expansion in the host rocks surrounding a new injection of magma, focusing instead primarily on elastic-plastic deformation and more recently, on visco-elastic deformation. Here we fill this gap by building a suite of elastic thermo-mechanical models to determine the stress field around a variably heated crustal magma chamber. We first consider linear elastic mechanical models with only the effect of magma pressure. We then present purely thermal models simulating heat distribution around a heated chamber. Finally, we present coupled linear elastic thermo-mechanical models that highlight the influence of temperature on the distribution of crustal stresses. Results show that thermal expansion–induced stresses generate two competing consequences: (1) they increase the level of shear stress around the magma chamber and (2) they partially suppress the level of tensile stress generated by the magmatic pressure. These competing effects influence the short-timescale conditions required for the failure of immature magmatic systems and hence the nucleation of dikes which may ultimately feed eruptions during unrest. Therefore, soon after a new magmatic recharge event, the contribution of temperature increase in the host rocks, following the new influx of magma into a crustal magma chamber, should be considered.