Episode 48 of the ongoing eruption of Kilauea, Hawai`i, began in July 1986 and continuously extruded lava for the next 5.5 years from a low shield, Kūpaianaha. The flows in March 1990 headed for Kalapana and inundated the entire town under 15–25 m of lava by the end of August. As the flows advanced eastward, they entered into Kaimū Bay, replacing it with a plain of lava that extends 300 m beyond the original shoreline. The focus of our study is the period from August 1 to October 31, 1990, when the lava buried almost 406,820 m2 of the 5-m deep bay. When lava encountered the sea, it flowed along the shoreline as a narrow primary lobe up to 400 m long and 100 m wide, which in turn inflated to a thickness of 5–6 m. The flow direction of the primary lobes was controlled by the submerged delta below the lavas and by damming up lavas fed at low extrusion rates. Breakout flows through circumferential and axial inflation cracks on the inflating primary lobes formed smaller secondary lobes, burying the lows between the primary lobes and hiding their original outlines. Inflated flow lobes eventually ruptured at proximal and/or distal ends as well as mid-points between the two ends, feeding new primary lobes which were emplaced along and on the shore side of the previously inflated lobes. The flow lobes mapped with the aid of aerial photographs were correlated with daily observations of the growing flow field, and 30 primary flow lobes were dated. Excluding the two repose periods that intervened while the bay was filled, enlargement of the flow field took place at a rate of 2,440–22,640 square meters per day in the bay. Lobe thickness was estimated to be up to 11 m on the basis of cross sections of selected lobes measured using optical measurement tools, measuring tape and hand level. The total flow-lobe volume added in the bay during August 1–October 31 was approximately 3.95 million m3, giving an average supply rate of 0.86 m3/s.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Emplacement of subaerial pahoehoe lava sheet flows into water: 1990 Kūpaianaha flow of Kilauea volcano at Kaimū Bay, Hawai`i|
|Series title||Bulletin of Volcanology|
|Online Only (Y/N)||N|
|Additional Online Files (Y/N)||N|