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Ardnamurchan 3D cone-sheet architecture explained by a single elongate magma chamber

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Steffi Burchardt, Valentin R. Troll, Lucie Mathieu, Henry C. Emeleus, Colin Henry Donaldson

Abstract

The Palaeogene Ardnamurchan central igneous complex, NW Scotland, was a defining place for the development of the classic concepts of cone-sheet and ring-dyke emplacement and has thus fundamentally influenced our thinking on subvolcanic structures. We have used the available structural information on Ardnamurchan to project the underlying three-dimensional (3D) cone-sheet structure. Here we show that a single elongate magma chamber likely acted as the source of the cone-sheet swarm(s) instead of the traditionally accepted model of three successive centres. This proposal is supported by the ridge-like morphology of the Ardnamurchan volcano and is consistent with the depth and elongation of the gravity anomaly underlying the peninsula. Our model challenges the traditional model of cone-sheet emplacement at Ardnamurchan that involves successive but independent centres in favour of a more dynamical one that involves a single, but elongate and progressively evolving magma chamber system.

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Original languageEnglish
Article number2891
Number of pages7
JournalScientific Reports
Volume3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2013

    Research areas

  • Volcanology, Structural geology, Geology, Petrology, NW Scotland, Crustal contamination, Canary-islands, Northeast rift, U-PB, Intrusion, Eruption, Complex, Growth, Dykes

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