Hydrothermal hexahydrite spherules erupted during the 2008-2010 summit eruption of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai`i'

Bulletin of Volcanology
By:  and 

Links

Abstract

Small (1-3 mm), hollow spherules of hexahydrite have been collected falling out of the magmatic gas plume downwind of Kīlauea’s summit vent. The spherules were observed on eight separate occasions during 2009-2010 when a lake of actively spattering lava was present ~150-200 m below the rim of the vent. The shells of the spherules have a fine bubbly foam structure less than 0.1 mm thick, composed almost entirely of hexahydrite [MgSO4·6H2O] Small microspherules of lava (<5 μm across) along with mineral and rock fragments from the magmatic plume adhered to the outside of the hexahydrite spherules. Phase relationships and the particulate matter in the magmatic plume indicate that the spherules originated as a bubbly solution injected into and mixed with the magmatic plume. The most likely mechanism for production of hexahydrite spherules is boiling of MgSO4-saturated meteoric water in the walls of the conduit above the surface of the lava lake. Solfataric sulfates may thus be recycled and reinjected into the plume, creating particulates of sulfate minerals that can be distributed far from their original source.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Hydrothermal hexahydrite spherules erupted during the 2008-2010 summit eruption of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai`i'
Series title Bulletin of Volcanology
DOI 10.1007/s00445-011-0484-x
Volume 73
Issue 9
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Springer
Publisher location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s) Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Description 7 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Bulletin of Volcanology
First page 1369
Last page 1375
Country United States
State Hawai'i
Other Geospatial Kilauea Volcano