The 2018 eruption of Kīlauea Volcano produced large and destructive lava flows from the fissure 8 (Ahu ‘aila ‘au) vent with flow velocities up to 17 m s−1, highly variable effusion rates over both short (minutes) and long (hours) time scales, and a proximal channel or spillway that displayed flow features similar to open channel flow in river systems. Monitoring such dynamic vent and lava flow systems is a challenge. Our results demonstrate that infrasound, combined with ground-based observations and imagery from unoccupied aircraft systems (UAS), can be used to distinguish vent degassing activity from high-speed lava flow activity. We use spectral characteristics and the infrasound frequency index (FI) to distinguish spillway infrasound from vent infrasound. Comparing FI with flow speeds derived from UAS videos reveals that spillway infrasound only occurs when flow speeds were sufficiently high to cause a supercritical flow state and breaking waves (Froude values > 1.7), and we propose that the spillway signals are produced primarily through the interaction of the turbulent lava-free surface with the atmosphere. We show that FI can also provide a means to track bulk effusion rate. Our results indicate that infrasound offers a new way to characterize lava flow channel hydraulics and is a powerful tool for monitoring effusive eruptions when high-speed flows are possible.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||High-speed lava flow infrasound from Kīlauea’s fissure 8 and its utility in monitoring effusion rate|
|Series title||Bulletin of Volcanology|
|Contributing office(s)||Volcano Science Center|
|Description||66, 12 p.|
|Other Geospatial||Kīlauea volcano|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|