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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/9025

Authors: Carbone, D.*
Poland, M. P.*
Patrick, M. R.*
Orr, T. R.*
Title: Continuous gravity measurementsr evealal ow-density lava lake at Kılauea Volcano, Hawai‘i
Title of journal: Earth and planetary science letters
Series/Report no.: /376(2013)
Publisher: Elsevier Science Limited
Issue Date: 1-Jul-2013
DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.06.024
URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X13003403
Keywords: gravity measurements; Kılauea Volcano; lava lake; mass loss; lava density; fissure eruption
Abstract: On 5 March 2011, the lava lake within the summit eruptive vent at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i, began to drain as magma withdrew to feed a dike intrusion and fissure eruption on the volcano’s east rift zone. The draining was monitored by a variety of continuous geological and geophysical measurements, including deformation, thermal and visual imagery, and gravity. Over the first ~14 hours of the draining, the ground near the eruptive vent subsided by about 0.15 m, gravity dropped by more than 100 μGal, and the lava lake retreated by over 120 m. We used GPS data to correct the gravity signal for the effects of subsurface mass loss and vertical deformation in order to isolate the change in gravity due to draining of the lava lake alone. Using a model of the eruptive vent geometry based on visual observations and the lava level over time determined from thermal camera data, we calculated the best fit lava density to the observed gravity decrease—to our knowledge, the first geophysical determination of the density of a lava lake anywhere in the world. Our result, 950 ± 300 kg m-3, suggests a lava density less than that of water and indicates that Kīlauea’s lava lake is gas-rich, which can explain why rockfalls that impact the lake trigger small explosions. Knowledge of such a fundamental material property as density is also critical to investigations of lava-lake convection and degassing and can inform calculations of pressure change in the subsurface magma plumbing system.
Appears in Collections:04.03.05. Gravity variations
Papers Published / Papers in press

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