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Cyclic lava effusion during the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea Volcano

December 6, 2019

Lava flows present a recurring threat to communities on active volcanoes, and volumetric eruption rate is one of the primary factors controlling flow behavior and hazard. The timescales and driving forces of eruption rate variability, however, remain poorly understood. In 2018, a highly destructive eruption occurred on the lower flank of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaiʻi, where the primary vent exhibited dramatic cyclic eruption rates on both short (minutes) and long (tens of hours) timescales. We use multiparameter data to show that the short cycles were driven by shallow outgassing, while longer cycles were pressure-driven surges in magma supply triggered by summit caldera collapse events 40 km upslope. The results provide a clear link between eruption rate fluctuations and their driving processes in the magmatic system.