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

Bulletin of Volcanology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Glassy bubble-wall fragments, morphologically similar to littoral limu o Pele, have been found in volcanic sands erupted on Lo'ihi Seamount and along the submarine east rift zone of Kilauea 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 Lo'ihi Seamount are dominantly tholeiitic basalt containing 6.25-7.25% MgO. None of the limu o Pele samples from Lo'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.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Lava bubble-wall fragments formed by submarine hydrovolcanic explosions on Lo'ihi Seamount and Kilauea Volcano
Series title Bulletin of Volcanology
Volume 61
Issue 7
Year Published 2000
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Bulletin of Volcanology
First page 437
Last page 449