North-Central Section - 42nd Annual Meeting (24–25 April 2008)

Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM-5:00 PM


CAMERON, Barry I.1, WRIGHT, Michael1, SKILLING, Ian P.2, HUNGERFORD, Jefferson D.G.2 and EDWARDS, Ben3, (1)Geosciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201, (2)Geology and Planetary Science, University of Pittsburgh, 200 SRCC Building, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, (3)Department of Earth Sciences, Dickinson College, 28 N. College Street, Carlisle, PA 17013,

Volatile concentrations (H2O and CO2) of glaciovolcanic pillow glasses can be used to estimate overlying ice thickness based on the pressure dependence of volatile solubility in magma. The few existing studies that have estimated ice thickness using volatile concentrations have suffered from errors associated with accurately measuring wafer thickness for FTIR measurements of H2O and the lack of CO2 data for the pillow glasses. In this study, we have attempted to overcome these two deficiencies to accurately estimate ice thicknesses in northern British Columbia. Basaltic pillow lavas erupted from Tennena Cone at the Mount Edziza Volcanic Complex (MEVC) in northern British Columbia occur as sinuous ridges with near vertical margins. Basaltic pillow lavas with steep margins suggest confinement by glacier ice. We have collected multiple samples of a pillow unit from Tennena Cone to attempt accurate ice thickness estimates using both H2O and CO2 concentrations of the glassy rims.

Initial H2O contents by manometry and hydrogen isotopic compositions for the 2006 samples from the Tennena Cone pillow rinds range from 0.66 to 0.83 wt% and -94.5 to -127.1 per mil, respectively. H2O content ranges from 0.719 to 0.988 wt% based on Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) measurements for 2006 and 2007 samples. Wafer thickness was accurately determined in the FTIR studies using interference fringes in reflected light. CO2 concentrations of 25 ppm in the matrix glass were determined by manometry during the step heating analysis. To our knowledge, this is the first time that ice thickness estimates are based on the combination of measured FTIR H2O and manometric CO2 concentrations. Saturation pressures can be determined using the measured volatile data and a program called VolatileCalc. Assuming a basaltic composition with 49 wt% SiO2, an eruption temperature of 1000°C, and CO2 concentrations of 0 ppm, the measured H2O contents by FTIR yield eruption pressures that range from 48 to 94 bars. Assuming an ice density of 0.931 g cm-3, these pressures correspond to ice thicknesses between 540 and 1057 m. For the samples that have measured CO2 concentrations by manometry, ice thickness varies from 1336 to 1566 m.