The formation, evolution, collapse, and subsequent resurrection of a vent within Halema'uma'u Crater, Kilauea Volcano, produced energetic and varied degassing signals recorded by a nearby infrasound array between 2008 and early 2009. After 25 years of quiescence, a vent-clearing explosive burst on 19 March 2008 produced a clear, complex acoustic signal. Near-continuous harmonic infrasonic tremor followed this burst until 4 December 2008, when a period of decreased degassing occurred. The tremor spectra suggest volume oscillation and reverberation of a shallow gas-filled cavity beneath the vent. The dominant tremor peak can be sustained through Helmholtz oscillations of the cavity, while the secondary tremor peak and overtones are interpreted assuming acoustic resonance. The dominant tremor frequency matches the oscillation frequency of the gas emanating from the vent observed by video. Tremor spectra and power are also correlated with cavity geometry and dynamics, with the cavity depth estimated at ~219 m and volume ~3 x 106 m3 in November 2008. Over 21 varied degassing bursts were observed with extended burst durations and frequency content consistent with a transient release of gas exciting the cavity into resonance. Correlation of infrasound with seismicity suggests an open system connecting the atmosphere to the seismic excitation process at depth. Numerous degassing bursts produced very long period (0.03-0.1 Hz) infrasound, the first recorded at Kilauea, indicative of long-duration atmospheric accelerations. Kilauea infrasound appears controlled by the exsolution of gas from the magma, and the interaction of this gas with the conduits and cavities confining it.
Additional publication details
Infrasonic harmonic tremor and degassing bursts from Halema'uma'u Crater, Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii
Journal of Geophysical Research
American Geophysical Union
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Earthquake Science Center