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Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 61, Issue 7, pp 437–449 | Cite as

Lava bubble-wall fragments formed by submarine hydrovolcanic explosions on Lō'ihi Seamount and Kīlauea Volcano

  • David A. Clague
  • Alice S. Davis
  • James L. Bischoff
  • Jacqueline E. Dixon
  • Renee Geyer
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

 Glassy bubble-wall fragments, morphologically similar to littoral limu o Pele, have been found in volcanic sands erupted on Lō'ihi Seamount and along the submarine east rift zone of Kīlauea Volcano. The limu o Pele fragments are undegassed with respect to H2O and S and formed by mild steam explosions. Angular glass sand fragments apparently form at similar, and greater, depths by cooling-contraction granulation. The limu o Pele fragments from Lō'ihi Seamount are dominantly tholeiitic basalt containing 6.25–7.25% MgO. None of the limu o Pele samples from Lō'ihi Seamount contains less than 5.57% MgO, suggesting that higher viscosity magmas do not form lava bubbles. The dissolved CO2 and H2O contents of 7 of the limu o Pele fragments indicate eruption at 1200±300 m depth (120±30 bar). These pressures exceed that generally thought to limit steam explosions. We conclude that hydrovolcanic eruptions are possible, with appropriate pre-mixing conditions, at pressures as great as 120 bar.

Key words Lava bubble-wall fragments Lō'ihi Seamount Kīlauea Volcano 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Clague
    • 1
  • Alice S. Davis
    • 1
  • James L. Bischoff
    • 2
  • Jacqueline E. Dixon
    • 3
  • Renee Geyer
    • 3
  1. 1.Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA 95039-0628, USA e-mail: clague@mbari.orgUS
  2. 2.U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USAUS
  3. 3.Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149, USAUS

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