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Whole rock and micro-analytical geochemistry of minerals, melt inclusions, and matrix glasses from Kapoho Crater and Puʻulena Crater, Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaiʻi

June 12, 2024

Kilauea volcano (Hawaii, USA) is a shield volcano that exhibits both effusive and explosive eruptive activity. Although Kilauea has been predominantly built through effusive eruptions, explosive eruptions have occurred repeatedly at both Kilauea's summit and in the volcano's lower East Rift Zone (Moore, 1992; Swanson et al., 2014). This dataset presents geochemical analyses of samples from Kapoho Crater and Puulena Crater, which formed during powerful explosive eruptions in Kilauea's lower East Rift Zone. The eruption ages of Kapoho Crater and Puulena Crater are estimated to be ~1400-1700 CE and 1250-1600 CE, respectively, based on correlations with dated regional lava flows (Moore and Trusdell, 1991).

The samples in this dataset are from the Kapoho Crater tuff cone, a younger scoria-forming eruption within Kapoho Crater, bulk tephra and ejected bombs from Puulena Crater, and lava flows exposed in the walls of Puulena Crater. All samples were analyzed to determine whole-rock compositions. Samples from the Kapoho Crater tuff cone and the younger scoria deposits within Kapoho Crater were additionally analyzed for mineral, matrix glass, and melt inclusion geochemistry.

Whole rock analyses were done by wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WD-XRF) at Hamilton Laboratory, New York. Minerals and quenched glasses (matrix glass and melt inclusions) were analyzed by electron microprobe (EPMA) at the University of Oregon to determine major element compositions (including sulfur and chlorine). A subset of matrix glasses and melt inclusions were also analyzed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory, Washington, to determine H2O and CO2 concentrations to understand volatile behavior and make barometric estimates. Samples of Puulena Crater ash and Kapoho Crater tuff cone were also analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) at the USGS California Volcano Observatory to further identify magmatic minerals and alteration phases.

This data release contains individual files for the whole-rock analyses, the glass analyses, and the mineral analyses, as well as analyzed standards for the EPMA calibration. Detailed descriptions of the analytical methodologies used are included as a document within this data release. See Hazlett et al. (2024) for a discussion of these data, including geochemical context and figures.


Hazlett, R.W., Schmith, J., Lerner, A.H., Downs, D.T., Fitch, E.P., Parcheta, C.E., Gansecki, C.A., Spaulding, S., 2024, Origins and Nature of Large Explosive Eruptions in the Lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii: Insights from Ash Characterization and Geochemistry. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 452, 108114,
Moore, R.B., 1992, Volcanic geology and eruption frequency, lower east rift zone of Kilauea volcano, Hawaii. Bulletin of Volcanology 54, 475-483.
Moore, R.B., Trusdell, F. A., 1991, Geologic map of the lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigations Series Map I-2225, 1: 24,000
Swanson, D.A., Rose, T.R., Mucek, A.E., Garcia, M.O., Fiske, R.S., Mastin, L.G., 2014, Cycles of explosive and effusive eruptions at Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii. Geology, 42, 631-634,

Publication Year 2024
Title Whole rock and micro-analytical geochemistry of minerals, melt inclusions, and matrix glasses from Kapoho Crater and Puʻulena Crater, Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaiʻi
DOI 10.5066/P13WW9NZ
Authors Allan Lerner, Drew T Downs, Richard W Hazlett, Cheryl (Contractor) Gansecki, Johanne Schmith, Erin P Fitch, Carolyn E Parcheta, Sarah A Spaulding, David E Damby
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization USGS Volcano Science Center