Hawaiian eruption


Hawaiian eruption

A Hawaiian eruption is a type of volcanic eruption where lava flows from the vent in a relative gentle, low level eruption, so called because it is characteristic of Hawaiian volcanoes. Typically they are effusive eruptions, with basaltic magmas of low viscosity, low content of gases, and high temperature at the vent. Very little amount of volcanic ash is produced. This type of eruption occurs most often on hotspot volcanoes such as Kilauea, though it can occur near subduction zones (e.g. Medicine Lake, California.) Another example of Hawaiian eruptions occurred on Surtsey from 1964 to 1967, when molten lava flowed from the crater to the sea.

Hawaiian eruptions may occur along fissure vents, such as during the eruption of Mauna Loa Volcano in 1950, or at a central vent, such as during the 1959 eruption in Kilauea Iki Crater, which created a lava fountain 580 meters (1,900 ft) high and formed a 38 meter cone named Puu Puai. In fissure-type eruptions, lava spurts from a fissure on the volcano's rift zone and feeds lava streams that flow downslope. In central-vent eruptions, a fountain of lava can spurt to a height of 300 meters or more (heights of 1600 meters were reported for the 1986 eruption of Mount Mihara on Izu Ōshima, Japan).

Hawaiian eruptions usually start by formation of a crack in the ground from which a curtain of incandescent magma or several closely spaced magma fountains appear. The lava can overflow the fissure and form aa or pahoehoe style of flows. Eruptions from a central cone can form small lightly sloped shield volcanoes, for example the Mauna Loa.

Petrology of Hawaiian Basalts

The key factors in generating a Hawaiian eruption are basaltic magma and a low percentage of dissolved water (less than one percent). The lower the water content, the more peaceful is the resulting flow. Almost all lava that comes from Hawaiian volcanoes is basalt in composition. Hawaiian basalts that make up almost all of the islands are tholeiite. These rocks are similar but not identical to those that are produced at ocean ridges. Basalt relative richer in sodium and potassium (more alkaline) has erupted at the undersea volcano of Loihi at the extreme southeastern end of the volcanic chain, and these rocks may be typical of early stages in the "evolution" of all Hawaiian islands. In the late stages of eruption of individual volcanoes, more alkaline basalt also was erupted, and in the very late stages after a period of erosion, rocks of unusual composition such as nephelinite were produced in very small amounts. These variations in magma composition have been investigated in great detail, in part to try to understand how mantle plumes may work.

Safety

Hawaiian eruptions are usually the most attractive to tourists and are the safest because there is little danger from ash. However, Hawaiian eruptions are not always safe.

In 1790, 80 warriors marching on Kilauea were killed in an eruption.cite book|title=Natural Hazards of North America|format=map|publisher=National Geographic Society] On May 18, 1924, an plantation accountant named Truman Taylor who was sightseeing on Kilauea's caldera, was hit with debris from an explosion.cite book|author=William Melson|page=123|title=Volcano|publisher=Time Life Books|id=ISBN 0-8094-4304-X|year=1982] Although rushed to hospital, Taylor succumbed to his injuries later that day.cite web|title=The 1924 Explosions of Kilauea|url=http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/kilauea/history/1924May18/|publisher=Hawaiian Volcano Observatory|accessdate=2008-03-19]

References

*cite book
last = Frankel
first = Charles
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Worlds on Fire: Volcanoes on the Earth, the Moon, Mars, Venus and Io
publisher = Cambridge University Press
date = 2005
location =
pages = 21-22
url =
doi =
isbn = 0521803934

*cite book
last = Frankel
first = Charles
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Volcanoes of the Solar System
publisher = Cambridge University Press
date = 1996
location =
pages = 17
url =
doi =
isbn = 0521477700

*cite book
last = Casadevall
first = T.J. (ed.)
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Volcanic Ash and Aviation Safety: Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Volcanic Ash and Aviation Safety
publisher = DIANE Publishing
date = 1995
location =
pages = 437
url =
doi =
isbn = 0788116509

*cite book
last = MacDonald
first = Gordon A.
last2 = Peterson
first2 = Frank L.
last3 = Abbott
first3 = Agatin T.
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Volcanoes in the Sea: Geology of Hawaii (2nd edition)
publisher = University of Hawaii Press
date = 1983
location =
pages = 156-157
url =
doi =
isbn = 0824808320

External links

* [http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/ Hawaii Volcano Observatory]


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