Magma degassing triggered by static decompression at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i

Geophysical Research Letters
By: , and 



During mid-June 2007, the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i, deflated rapidly as magma drained from the subsurface to feed an east rift zone intrusion and eruption. Coincident with the deflation, summit SO2 emission rates rose by a factor of four before decaying to background levels over several weeks. We propose that SO2 release was triggered by static decompression caused by magma withdrawal from Kīlauea's shallow summit reservoir. Models of the deflation suggest a pressure drop of 0.5–3 MPa, which is sufficient to trigger exsolution of the observed excess SO2 from a relatively small volume of magma at the modeled source depth beneath Kīlauea's summit. Static decompression may also explain other episodes of deflation accompanied by heightened gas emission, including the precursory phases of Kīlauea's 2008 summit eruption. Hazards associated with unexpected volcanic gas emission argue for increased awareness of magma reservoir pressure fluctuations.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Magma degassing triggered by static decompression at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1029/2009GL039214
Volume 36
Issue 16
Year Published 2009
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Volcano Science Center
Country United States
State Hawaii
Other Geospatial Kilauea volcano
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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