Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The cascading origin of the 2018 Kīlauea eruption and implications for future forecasting

November 6, 2020

The 2018 summit and flank eruption of Kīlauea Volcano was one of the largest volcanic events in Hawaiʻi in 200 years. Data suggest that a backup in the magma plumbing system at the long-lived Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption site caused widespread pressurization in the volcano, driving magma into the lower flank. The eruption evolved, and its impact expanded, as a sequence of cascading events, allowing relatively minor changes at Puʻu ʻŌʻō to cause major destruction and historic changes across the volcano. Eruption forecasting is inherently challenging in cascading scenarios where magmatic systems may prime gradually and trigger on small events.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title The cascading origin of the 2018 Kīlauea eruption and implications for future forecasting
DOI 10.1038/s41467-020-19190-1
Authors Matthew R. Patrick, Bruce F. Houghton, Kyle R. Anderson, Michael P. Poland, Emily Montgomery-Brown, Ingrid Johanson, Weston Thelen, Tamar Elias
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Nature Communications
Series Number
Index ID 70218725
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center