Modeling Explosive Eruptions at Kīlauea, Hawai‘i

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 9:15 AM
Helge Martin Gonnermann, Rice University, Houston, TX, United States, David J Ferguson, Harvard University, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Cambridge, MA, United States, Austin P Blaser, Rice University, Department of Earth Science, Houston, TX, United States, Bruce F Houghton, Univ Hawaii Manoa, SOEST, Honolulu, HI, United States, Terry A Plank, Lamont -Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, United States, Erik H Hauri, Carnegie Inst Washington, Washington, DC, United States and Donald A Swanson, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Hawaii National Park, HI, United States
We have modeled eruptive magma ascent during two explosive eruptions of Kīlauea volcano, Hawai‘i. They are the Hawaiian style Kīlauea Iki eruption, 1959, and the subplinian Keanakāko‘i eruption, 1650 CE. We have modeled combined magma ascent in the volcanic conduit and exsolution of H2O and CO2 from the erupting magma. To better assess the relative roles of conduit processes and magma chamber, we also coupled conduit flow and magma chamber through mass balance and pressure. We predict magma discharge rates, superficial gas velocities, H2O and CO2 concentrations of the melt, magma chamber pressure, surface deformation, and height of the volcanic jet. Models are in part constrained by H2O and CO2 measured in olivine-hosted melt inclusions and by decompression rates recorded in melt embayment diffusion profiles. We present a parametric analysis, indicating that the pressure within the chamber that fed the subplinian Keanakāko‘i eruption was significantly higher than lithostatic pressure. In contrast, chamber pressure for the Hawaiian Kīlauea Iki eruption was close to lithostatic. In both cases the superficial gas velocity, which affects the geometrical distribution of gas-liquid mixtures during upward flow in conduits, may have exceeded values at which bubble coalescence did not affect the flow.