Sakurajima in Japan is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. This paper presents the results of a petrological study of the Showa Crater volcanic ash samples ejected from January 2011 to November 2012 from Sakurajima. The aim of this paper is to reconstruct the evolution in time of the conduit magma system, based on the compositions and physical properties of the studied volcanic ash. We analyzed the composition of interstitial glass and microcrystal of Black Volcanic Rock (BVR) and Black Vesicular Volcanic Rock (BVVR) in order to estimate the magma ascent rate. The results show that SiO2
content of interstitial glass and crystallinity of the BVR is generally higher than for BVVR. The different types of juvenile material likely resulted from cooling-induced crystallization and decompression-induced crystallization in the conduit. The conditions of magma transit within the conduit from 2011 to 2012 differ: in 2011, the decompression rate and magma ascent rate of BVR were higher than for BVVR, but, in 2012, the decompression rate and magma ascent rate between BVR and BVVR were similar. As such, monitoring the petrological features of dated eruptive materials could provide useful information for evaluating ongoing eruptive activity.
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