Geometries of shallow magmatic pathways feeding volcanic eruptions are poorly constrained, yet many key interpretations about eruption dynamics depend on knowledge of these geometries. Direct quantification is difficult because vents typically become blocked with lava at the end of eruptions. Indirect geophysical techniques have shed light on some volcanic conduit geometries, but the scales are too coarse to resolve narrow fissures (widths typically 1 m). Kīlauea's Mauna Ulu eruption, which started with <50 m high Hawaiian fountains along a 4.5 km fissure on 24 May 1969, provides a unique opportunity to measure the detailed geometry of a shallow magmatic pathway, as the western vents remain unobstructed to depths >30 m. Direct measurements at the ground surface were augmented by tripod-mounted lidar measurements to quantify the shallow conduit geometry for three vents at a resolution <4 cm. We define the form of the fissure in terms of aspect ratio, flaring ratio, irregularity, sinuosity, and segmentation and discuss the factors influencing these parameters. In the past, simplified first-order fissure geometries have been used in computational modeling. Our data can provide more accurate conduit shapes for better understanding of shallow fissure fluid dynamics and how it controls eruptive behavior, especially if incorporated into computer models.
|Title||Hawaiian fissure fountains: Quantifying vent and shallow conduit geometry, episode 1 of the 1969-1974 Mauna Ulu eruption|
|Authors||Carolyn Parcheta, Sarah Fagents, Donald A. Swanson, Bruce F. Houghton, Todd Ericksen|
|Publication Type||Book Chapter|
|Publication Subtype||Book Chapter|
|Series Title||Geophysical Monograph|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Volcano Science Center|