We report the results of two soil CO2 efflux surveys by the closed chamber circulation method at the Puhimau thermal area in the upper East Rift Zone (ERZ) of Ki??lauea volcano, Hawaii. The surveys were undertaken in 1996 and 1998 to constrain how much CO2 might be reaching the ERZ after degassing beneath the summit caldera and whether the Puhimau thermal area might be a significant contributor to the overall CO2 budget of Ki??lauea. The area was revisited in 2001 to determine the effects of surface disturbance on efflux values by the collar emplacement technique utilized in the earlier surveys. Utilizing a cutoff value of 50 g m-2 d-1 for the surrounding forest background efflux, the CO2 emission rates for the anomaly at Puhimau thermal area were 27 t d-1 in 1996 and 17 t d-1 in 1998. Water vapor was removed before analysis in all cases in order to obtain CO2 values on a dry air basis and mitigate the effect of water vapor dilution on the measurements. It is clear that Puhimau thermal area is not a significant contributor to Ki??lauea's CO2 output and that most of Ki??lauea's CO2 (8500 t d-1) is degassed at the summit, leaving only magma with its remaining stored volatiles, such as SO2, for injection down the ERZ. Because of the low CO2 emission rate and the presence of a shallow water table in the upper ERZ that effectively scrubs SO2 and other acid gases, Puhimau thermal area currently does not appear to be generally well suited for observing temporal changes in degassing at Ki??lauea. ?? Birkha??user Verlag, Basel, 2006.
Additional Publication Details
Puhimau thermal area: A window into the upper east rift zone of Ki??lauea Volcano, Hawaii?