Revised chronostratigraphy of recurrent ignimbritic eruptions in Dominica (Lesser Antilles arc): Implications on the behavior of the magma plumbing system
Ignimbritic eruptions represent catastrophic events due to the magma volume involved and the related consequences on Earth's environment in relation with the released gases and the tephra dispersal. Dominica has been recognized as hosting one of the major ignimbritic eruptions of the last 200 ky in the Lesser Antilles arc, called the Roseau Tuff. But more recent works have evidenced several pumiceous events instead of a single large one. Here we propose a revised chronostratigraphy of the explosive activity that occurred in the last tens of thousands years based on three field trips, new 14C ages, detailed lithological and geochemical investigations, in particular a precise characterization of trace element glass chemistry. This eruptive history reconstruction is mainly based on outcrops along the coast and in the valley, since the luxury vegetation in the center of the island mostly precludes sections close to the central volcanic centers. We thus confirm that the Roseau event has been overestimated and that we may recognize five main ignimbritic events: Grande Savane, Layou ( 51 ka), Grand Bay, Roseau ( 33 ka), Grand Fond ( 24 ka). We discuss the possible volcanic center at their origin, in addition to correlations with some Plinian events of lower magnitude that were identified in the Roseau valley and in the southern part of Dominica. This study may help to better constrain the eruptive history of the most active volcanic island of the Lesser Antilles arc, which has important implications on hazard mitigation.