The 2018 lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption of Kīlauea, Hawai’i, provides an excellent natural laboratory with which to test models of lava flow propagation. During early stages of eruption crises, the most useful lava flow propagation equations utilize readily determined parameters and require fewer a priori assumptions about future behavior of the flow. Here, we leverage the numerous observations of lava flows collected over the duration of the eruption crisis at Kīlauea in 2018 to test simple lava flow propagation models. These models track the one-dimensional propagation of the flows according to three main rheological restraining forces: bulk viscosity, yield strength, and growth of a surface crust. We calculate the predicted changes in length through time of three flows that vary in bulk composition, crystal content, and total flow length. Cooler flows that are more crystal-rich tend to be more dominated by crust growth, though early stages of propagation can be controlled by bulk viscosity. We find that variations in effusion rate significantly impact flows that are short-lived; flows that are produced during steady-state effusion are readily approximated by average values for the entire flow. Thus, accurate knowledge of variations in effusion rate are critical to accurate lava flow propagation forecasting.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Evaluating lava flow propagation models with a case study from the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai'i|
|Series title||Bulletin of Volcanology|
|Contributing office(s)||Volcano Science Center|
|Description||65, 19 p.|
|Other Geospatial||Kīlauea Volcano|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|