Kı ̄lauea’s 5–9 march 2011 kamoamoa fissure eruption and its relation to 30+ years of activity from pu‘u ‘o̅ ‘ō

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Book Chapter

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Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


Lava output from Kīlauea’s long‐lived East Rift Zone eruption, ongoing since 1983, began waning in 2010 and was coupled with uplift, increased seismicity, and rising lava levels at the volcano’s summit and Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent. These changes culminated in the four-day-long Kamoamoa fissure eruption on the East Rift Zone starting on 5 March 2011. About 2.7 × 106 m3 of lava erupted, accompanied by ~15 cm of summit subsidence, draining of Kīlauea’s summit lava lake, a 113 m drop of Pu‘u ‘O̅ ‘ō’s crater floor, ~3 m of East Rift Zone widening, and eruptive SO2 emissions averaging 8500 tonnes/day. Lava effusion resumed at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō shortly after the Kamoamoa eruption ended, marking the onset of a new period of East Rift Zone activity. Multiparameter monitoring before and during the Kamoamoa eruption suggests that it was driven by an imbalance between magma supplied to and erupted from Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone and that eruptive output is affected by changes in the geometry of the rift zone plumbing system. These results imply that intrusions and eruptive changes during ongoing activity at Kīlauea may be anticipated from the geophysical, geological, and geochemical manifestations of magma supply and magma plumbing system geometry.

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© 2015 American Geophysical Union. Publisher’s version of record:

Publication Title

Geophysical Monograph Series