Growth history of Kilauea inferred from volatile concentrations in submarine-collected basalts

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
By: , and 



Major-element and volatile (H2O, CO2, S) compositions of glasses from the submarine flanks of Kilauea Volcano record its growth from pre-shield into tholeiite shield-stage. Pillow lavas of mildly alkalic basalt at 2600–1900 mbsl on the upper slope of the south flank are an intermediate link between deeper alkalic volcaniclastics and the modern tholeiite shield. Lava clast glasses from the west flank of Papau Seamount are subaerial Mauna Loa-like tholeiite and mark the contact between the two volcanoes. H2O and COin sandstone and breccia glasses from the Hilina bench, and in alkalic to tholeiitic pillow glasses above and to the east, were measured by FTIR. Volatile saturation pressures equal sampling depths (10 MPa = 1000 m water) for south flank and Puna Ridge pillow lavas, suggesting recovery near eruption depths and/or vapor re-equilibration during down-slope flow. South flank glasses are divisible into low-pressure (CO2 <40 ppm, H2O < 0.5 wt.%, S <500 ppm), moderate-pressure (CO2 <40 ppm, H2O >0.5 wt.%, S 1000–1700 ppm), and high-pressure groups (CO2 >40 ppm, S  ∼1000 ppm), corresponding to eruption ≥ sea level, at moderate water depths (300–1000 m) or shallower but in disequilibrium, and in deep water (>1000 m). Saturation pressures range widely in early alkalic to strongly alkalic breccia clast and sandstone glasses, establishing that early Kīlauea's vents spanned much of Mauna Loa's submarine flank, with some vents exceeding sea level. Later south flank alkalic pillow lavas expose a sizeable submarine edifice that grew concurrent with nearby subaerial alkalic eruptions. The onset of the tholeiitic shield stage is marked by extension of eruptions eastward and into deeper water (to 5500 m) during growth of the Puna Ridge. Subaerial and shallow water eruptions from earliest Kilauea show that it is underlain shallowly by Mauna Loa, implying that Mauna Loa is larger, and Kilauea smaller, than previously recognized.


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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Growth history of Kilauea inferred from volatile concentrations in submarine-collected basalts
Series title Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
DOI 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2005.07.037
Volume 151
Issue 1-3
Year Published 2006
Language English
Publisher Elsevier Science
Contributing office(s) Volcano Hazards Program, Alaska Science Center
Description 31 p.
First page 19
Last page 49
Country United States
State Hawai'i
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N