Eruptions through debris-filled vents produce deposits containing magmatic juvenile lithic and recycled clasts. Recycled clasts are exposed to multiple transportation and fragmentation events. We used experiments with multiple subsurface explosions to track clasts and highlight dominant recycling processes in eruptions through analog debris-filled vents. Recycled clasts include those that fall back into and reside in the vent for extended time periods and those that return to the vent through crater growth or collapse. Clasts are recycled by any combination of lofting and fallback of material in the crater by explosion jets, mixing and churning of material at depth in the debris fill, and redistribution of extra-crater deposits by explosion-induced excavation or slumping. We compare experimental processes with natural deposits that preserve recycling signatures from discrete explosions through debris-filled vents such as maar-diatremes, Strombolian vents, and hydrothermal craters. Clasts may not preserve textures diagnostic of their complete recycling histories, but can be used to infer if that history occurred in part in the vent debris or in the eruptive jet. Experiment results and natural deposits suggest that for volcanic craters that undergo multiple explosions, clasts likely undergo some form of recycling before final deposition outside the craters. The underestimation of recycled clast contributions to deposits can lead to inaccurate estimates of thermal budgets and eruption processes.
- Received 10 May 2016.
- Revision received 14 July 2016.
- Accepted 16 July 2016.
- © 2016 Geological Society of America