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

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

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)
    3 Downloads (Pure)


    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.

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


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


    Dive into the research topics of 'Ardnamurchan 3D cone-sheet architecture explained by a single elongate magma chamber'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this