Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Intricate episodic growth of a Hawaiian tephra deposit: case study of the 1959 Kīlauea Iki eruption

  • 329 Accesses

  • 1 Citations

Abstract

The 1959 Kīlauea Iki eruption on Hawai’i generated a succession of fountains, most reaching hundreds of meters high. The 16 episodes of fountaining persisted intermittently (with repose periods of between 7 h and 4 days) for 36 days. They produced tephra deposits that were dispersed several kilometers downwind of the vent, and a much larger volume of clastogenic lava which drained into the Kīlauea Iki crater to form a > 100 m deep lava lake. Field data from 211 tephra sample pits downwind of the vent reflect imperfectly the episodic nature of the fountaining behavior: only five composite stratigraphic subunits from the total of 16 fountaining episodes can be mapped in the field. However, isopach maps of these subunits were generated and, by the application of empirical deposit thinning relationships, volumes of each subunit were estimated. In combination with detailed observations made in 1959, our field data allow us to assign stratigraphic subunits to either single or aggregates of several fountaining episodes. The most voluminous subunits are linked with the highest fountaining, not with the longest in duration. In fact, significant downwind dispersal was possible only if the top part of the fountains reached above the crater rim, which was located about 100 m above the vent. The end of high fountaining episodes produced ash-rich partings, which are found on top of the lapilli-sized products of some episodes. However, the ash-rich intervals are strongly attenuated by wind advection and so are only present along the dispersal axes. The subunits follow slightly different dispersal axes. The maximum spread of 28 degrees between various dispersal axes is predominantly controlled by changing wind directions and spatter cone collapse into the vent, which modified its geometry. This study outlines the dependency of tephra dispersal on fountain height and emphasizes the capability of an episodic Hawaiian fountaining eruption to generate a seemingly monotonous downwind tephra deposit.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9

References

  1. Andronico D, Scollo S, Cristaldi A (2015) Unexpected hazards from tephra fallouts at Mt Etna: the 23 November 2013 fountain. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 304:118–125

  2. Andronico D, Scollo S, Cristaldi A, Lo Castro MD (2014) Representivity of incompletely sampled fall deposits in estimating eruption source parameters: a test using the 12-13 January 2011 lava fountain deposit from Mt. Etna volcano, Italy. Bull Volcanol 76:861

  3. Andronico D, Cristaldi A, Scollo S (2008) The 4-5 September 2007 fountain at South-East Crater of Mt Etna, Italy. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 173:325–328

  4. Ayris PM, Delmelle P (2012) The immediate environmental effects of tephra emission. Bull Volcanol 74:1905–1936

  5. Biass S, Bonadonna C (2011) A quantitative uncertainty assessment of eruptive parameters derived from tephra deposits: the example of two large eruptions of Cotopaxi volcano, Ecuador. Bull Volcanol 73:73–90

  6. Biass S, Bagheri G, Aeberhard W, Bonadonna C (2014) Terror: towards a better quantification of the uncertainty propagated during the characterization of tephra deposits. Stat Volcanol 1(2):1–27

  7. Bonadonna C, Costa A (2012) Estimating the volume of tephra deposits: a new simple strategy. Geology 40:415–418

  8. Bonadonna C, Houghton BF (2005) Total grain-size distribution and volume of tephra-fall deposits. Bull Volcanol 67:441–456

  9. Branca S, Del Carlo P (2005) Types of eruptions of Etna volcano AD 1670-2003: implications for short-term eruptive behavior. Bull Volcanol 67(8):732–742

  10. Brown PP, Lawler DF (2003) Sphere drag and settling velocity revisited. J Environ Eng 129(3):222–231

  11. Burden RE, Chen L, Phillips JC (2013) A statistical method for determining the volume of volcanic fall deposits. Bull Volcanol 75:707

  12. Corsaro RA, Andronico D, Behncke B, Branca S, Caltabiano T, Ciancitto F, Cristaldi A, De Beni E, La Spina A, Lodato L, Miraglia L, Neri M, Salerno G, Scollo S, Spata G (2017) Monitoring the December 2015 summit eruptions of Mt Etna (Italy): implications on eruptive patterns J Volcanol Geotherm Res 341:53–69

  13. Costa A, Folch A, Macedonio G (2010) A model for wet aggregation of ash particles in volcanic plumes and clouds: 1. Theoretical Formulation J Volcanol Geotherm Res 115:B09201

  14. Costa A, Pioli L, Bonadonna C (2016) Assessing tephra total grain-size distribution: insights from field data analysis. Earth Planet Sci Lett 443:90–107

  15. Durant AJ, Rose WI, Sarna-Wojcicki AM, Carey S, Volentik ACM (2009) Hydrometeor-enhanced tephra sedimentation: constraints from the 18 May 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens J Geophys Res 114:B03204

  16. Eaton JP, Richter DH, Krivoy HL (1987) Cycling of magma betwen the summit reservoir and Kīlauea Iki lava lake during the 1959 eruption of Kīlauea volcano. In: Decker RW, Wright TL, Stauffer PH (eds) volcanism in Hawaii. US Geol Sury Prof Pap 1350:1307–1334

  17. Engwell SL, Aspinall WP, Sparks RSJ (2015) An objective method for the production of isopach maps and implications for the estimation of tephra deposit volumes and their uncertainties. Bull Volcanol 77(7):61

  18. Fero J, Carey SN, Merrill JT (2009) Simulating the dispersal of tephra from the 1991 Pinatubo eruption: implications for the formation of widespread ash layers. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 186(1–2):120–131

  19. Fierstein J, Nathenson M (1992) Another look at the calculation of fallout tephra volumes. Bull Volcanol 54:156–167

  20. Fisher RV (1961) Proposed classification for volcaniclastic sediments and rocks. Geol Soc Am Bull 72:1409–1414

  21. Folch A, Costa A, Macedonio G (2016) FPLUME-1.0: an integral volcanic plume model accounting for ash aggregation. Geol Model Dev 9:431–450

  22. Gonnermann HM (2015) Magma Fragmentation. Annu Rev Earth Planet Sci 43:431–458

  23. González-Mellado AO, De la Cruz-Reyna SD (2010) A simple semi-empirical approach to model thickness of ash-deposits for different eruption scenarios. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 10:2241–2257

  24. Greenland LP, Okamura AT, Stokes JB (1988) Constraints on the mechanics of the eruption. USGS Prof Paper 1463:155–164

  25. Heiken G, Wohletz KH (1985) Volcanic Ash. 246 pp, Univ Calif Press, Berkeley

  26. Heliker C, Mattox TN (2003) The first two decades of the Pu’u ‘O’o Kupaianaha eruption: chronology and selected bibliography, the Pu’u ‘O’o-Kupaianaha eruption of Kīlauea volano, Hawaii: the first 20 years. US Geol Sury Prof Pap 1676:1–27

  27. Hibert C, Mangeney A, Polacci M, Di Muro A, Vergniolle S, Ferrazzini V, Peltier A, Taisne B, Burton M, Dewez T, Grandjean G, Dupont A, Staudacher T, Brenguier F, Kowalski P, Boissier P, Catherine P, Lauret F (2015) Toward continuous quantification of lava extrusion rate: results from the multidisciplinary analysis of the 2 January 2010 eruption of Piton de la Fournasie volcano, La Réunion. J Geophys Res 120(5):3026–3047

  28. Horwell CJ, Baxter J (2006) The respiratory health hazards of volcanic ash: a review for volcanic risk mitigation. Bull Volcanol 69:1–24

  29. Houghton BF, Swanson DA, Rauch J, Carey RJ, Fagents SA, Orr TR (2013) Pushing the Volcano Explosivity Index to its limit and beyond: constraints from exceptionally weak explosive eruptions at Kīlauea in 2008. Geology 41:627–630. https://doi.org/10.1130/G34146.1

  30. Houghton BF, Carey RJ, Rosenberg MD (2014) The 1800a Taupo eruption: ‘III wind’ blows the ultraplinian type event down to Plinian. Geology 42(5):459–461

  31. Houghton BF, Taddeucci J, Andronico D, Gonnermann HM, Pistolesi M, Patrick MR, Orr TR, Swanson DA, Edmonds M, Gaudin D, Carey RJ, Scarlato P (2016) Stronger or longer: discriminating between Hawaiian and Strombolian eruption styles. Geology 44:163–166

  32. Klawonn M, Houghton BF, Swanson DA, Fagents SA, Wessel P, Wolfe CJ (2014) From field data to volumes: constraining uncertainties in pyroclastic eruption parameters. Bull Volcanol 76:839

  33. Le Pennec JL, Ruiz GA, Rámon P, Palacios E, Mothes P, Yepes H (2012) Impact of tephra falls on Andean communities: the influences of eruption size and weather conditions during the 1999-2001 activity of Tungurahua volcano, Ecuador. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 217:91–103

  34. Lockwood J, Banks N, English T, Greenland P, Jackson D, Johnson D, Koyanagi B, McGee K, Okamura A, Rhodes M (1985) The 1984 eruption of Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawaii. Eos Trans AGU 66(16):169–171

  35. Mangan MT, Cashman KV, Swanson DA (2014) The dynamics of Hawaiian-style eruptions: a century of study. In: Poland MP, Takahashi TJ, Landowski CM (Eds) Characteristics of Hawaiian Volcanoes. USGS Prof Pap 1801

  36. Martí A, Folch A, Costa A, Engwell S (2016) Reconstructing the Plinian and co-ignimbrite sources of large volcanic eruptions: a novel approach for the Campanian ignimbrite. Sci Rep 6:21220

  37. Michon L, Di Muro A, Villeneuve N, Saint-Marc C, Fadda P, Manta F (2013) Explosive activity of the summit cone of piton de la Fournaise volcano (La Réunion island): a historical and geologica review. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 264:117–133

  38. Namiki A, Manga (2006) Influence of decompression rate on the expansion velocity and expansion style of bubbly fluids. J Geophys Res 111:B11208

  39. Namiki A, Manga M (2008) Transition between fragmentation and permeable outgassing of low viscosity magmas. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 169:48–60

  40. Newhall CG, Self S (1982) The Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI)—an estimate of explosive magnitude for historical volcanism. J Geophys Res 87:1231–1238

  41. Notcutt G, Davies F (1993) Dispersion of gaseous volcanogenic fluoride, island of Hawaii. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 56:125–131

  42. Parcheta CE, Houghton BF, Swanson DA (2012) Hawaiian fissure fountains 1: decoding deposits—episode 1 of the 1969-1974 Mauna Ulu eruption. Bull Volcanol 74:1729–1743

  43. Parfitt EA (1998) A study of clast size distribution, ash deposition and fragmentation in a Hawaiian-style volcanic eruption. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 84:197–208

  44. Parfitt EA, Wilson L (1999) A Plinian treatment of fallout from Hawaiian lava fountains. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 88:67–75

  45. Parfitt EA, Wilson L (1995) Explosive volcanic eruptions – IX. The transition between Hawaiian-style and lava fountaining and Strombolian explosive activity. Geophys J Internat 121(1):226–232

  46. Polacci M, Pioli L, Rosi M (2006) Coupled textural and compositional characterization of basaltic scoria: insights into the transition from Strombolian to fire fountain activity at Mount Etna, Italy. Geology 34(3):201–204

  47. Poret M, Costa A, Folch A, Martí A (2017) Modelling tephra dispersal and ash aggregation: the 26th April 1979 eruption, La Soufrière St. Vincent. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 347:207–220

  48. Porritt LA, Russell JK, Quane SL (2012) Pele’s tears and spheres: examples from Kīlauea Iki. Earth Planet Sci Lett 333-334:171–180

  49. Poulidis AP, Takemi T, Shimizu A, Iguchi M, Jenkins SF (2018) Statistical analysis of dispersal and deposition patterns of volcanic emissions from Mt. Sakurajima, Japan. Atmos Environ 179:305–320

  50. Pyle DM (1989) The thickness, volume and grain size of tephra fall deposits. Bull Volcanol 51:1–15

  51. Pyle DM (1995) Assessment of the minimum volume of tephra fall deposits. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 69:379–382 gujvmn

  52. Richter DH, Eaton JP, Murata KJ, Ault WU, Krivoy HL (1970) Chronological narrative of the 1959-60 eruption of Kīlauea volcano, Hawaii US Geol Sury Prof Pap 537-E

  53. Scollo S, Folch A, Costa A (2008) A parametric and comparative study of different tephra fallout models. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 176:199–211

  54. Sides IR, Edmonds M, Maclennan J, Houghton BF, Swanson DA, Steele-MacInnis MJ (2014a) Magma mixing and high fountaining during the 1959 Kīlauea Iki eruption, Hawaii. Earth Planet Sci Lett 400:102–112

  55. Sides IR, Edmonds M, Maclennan J, Swanson DA, Houghton BF (2014b) Eruption style at Kīlauea Volcano in Hawaii linked to primary melt composition. Nat Geosci 7:464–469

  56. Slezin YB (2003) The mechanism of volcanic eruptions (a steady state approach). J Volcanol Geotherm Res 122(1–2):7–50

  57. Staudacher T, Ferrazzini V, Peltier A, Kowalski P, Boissier P, Catherine P, Lauret F, Massin F (2009) The April 2007 eruption and the Dolomieu crater collapse, two major events at Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion Island, Indian Ocean). J Volcanol Geotherm Res 184:126–137

  58. Sulpizio R, Bonasia R, Dellino P, Di Vito MA, La Volpe L, Mele D, Zanchetta G, Sadori L (2008) Discriminating the long distance dispersal of fine ash from sustained columns or near ground ash clouds: the example of the Pomici di Avellino eruption (Somma-Vesuvius, Italy). J Volcanol Geotherm Res 177:263–276

  59. Sulpizio R (2005) Three empirical methods for the calculation of distal volume of tephra-fall deposits. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 145(3):315–336

  60. Stovall WK, Houghton BF, Gonnermann H, Fagents SA, Swanson DA (2011) Eruption dynamics of Hawaiian-style fountains: the case study of episode 1 of the Kilauea Iki 1959 eruption. Bull Volcanol 73:511–529

  61. Stovall WK, Houghton BF, Hammer JE, Fagents SA, Swanson DA (2012) Vesiculation of high fountaining Hawaiian eruptions: episodes 15 and 16 of 1959 Kilauea Iki. Bull Volcanol 74:441–455

  62. Swanson DA, Houghton BF (2018) Products, processes, and implications of Keanakako‘i volcanism, Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i. In: Poland M, Garcia M, Camp V, Grunder A (Eds) Field Volcanology: a tribute to the distinguished career of Don Swanson. Geol Soc Am Spec Pap 538

  63. Swanson DA, Duffield WA, Jackson DB, Peterson DW (1979) Chronological narrative of the 1969-71 Mauna Ulu eruption of Kīlauea volcano, Hawaii. US Geol Sury Prof Pap 1056:1–55

  64. Taddeucci J, Edmonds M, Houghton BF, James MR, Vergnoille S (2015) Hawaiian and Strombolian eruptions. In: Sigurdsson H et al. (Eds) The encyclopedia of volcanoes (second edition): London, Academic Press 485–505

  65. Taddeucci J, Scarlato P, Andronico D, Cristaldi A, Büttner R, Zimanowski B, Kueppers U (2007) Advances in the study of volcanic ash. EOS Earth Space Sci News 88(24):253–256

  66. Tilling RI, Heliker C, Swanson DA (2010) Eruptions of Hawaiian volcanoes; past, present and future. USGS Gen Inf Prod 117:63

  67. Vulpiani G, Ripepe M, Valade S (2016) Mass discharge rate retrieval combining weather radar and thermal camera observations. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 121:5679–5695

  68. Walker GPL (1973) Explosive volcanic eruptions—a new classification scheme. Geol Rundsch 62:431–446

  69. Wallace PJ, Anderson AT (1998) Effects of eruption and lava drainback on the H2O contents of basaltic magmas at Kīlauea Volcano. Bull Volcanol 59:327–344

  70. Wilson L, Head JW (1981) Ascent and eruption of basaltic magma on the earth and moon. J Geophys Res 86:2971–3001

  71. Wilson TM, Stewart C, Sword-Daniels V, Leonard GS, Johnston DM, Cole JW, Wardman J, Wilson G, Barnard ST (2012) Volcanic ash impacts on critical infrastructure. Phys Chem Earth Parts A/B/C 45-46:5–23

  72. Wolfe EW, Neal CA, Banks NG, Duggan TJ (1988) Geologic observations and chronology of eruptive events, in Wolfe EW (ed) The Puu Oo eruption of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaii; episodes 1 through 20, January 3, 1983 through June 8, 1984. US Geol Sury prof pap 1463:1–97

Download references

Acknowledgments

We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of 16 years of undergraduate and graduate classes who dug the tephra pits for this study. The research was supported by NSF grants EAR-0499303, EAR-0810332, EAR-1145159, and EAR1521855. This manuscript benefitted greatly from the editorial handling by Jacopo Taddeucci and the comments by Daniele Andronico and an anonymous reviewer.

Author information

Correspondence to Sebastian B. Mueller.

Additional information

Editorial responsibility: J. Taddeucci

Electronic supplementary material

ESM 1

(XLSX 24 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Mueller, S.B., Houghton, B.F., Swanson, D.A. et al. Intricate episodic growth of a Hawaiian tephra deposit: case study of the 1959 Kīlauea Iki eruption. Bull Volcanol 80, 73 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00445-018-1249-6

Download citation

Keywords

  • Kīlauea Iki
  • Tephra deposit
  • Hawaiian fountaining