Research Article

The 2018 rift eruption and summit collapse of Kīlauea Volcano

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Science  11 Dec 2018:
eaav7046
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav7046

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Abstract

In 2018, Kīlauea Volcano experienced its largest lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption and caldera collapse in at least 200 years. After collapse of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent on 30 April, magma propagated downrift. Eruptive fissures opened in the LERZ on 3 May, eventually extending ~6.8 km. A 4 May earthquake (M6.9) produced ~5 m of fault slip. Lava erupted at rates exceeding 100 m3/s, eventually covering 35.5 km2. The summit magma system partially drained, producing minor explosions and near-daily collapses releasing energy equivalent to M4.7-M5.4 earthquakes. Activity declined rapidly on 4 August. Summit collapse and lava flow volume estimates are roughly equivalent—about 0.8 km3. Careful historical observation and monitoring of Kīlauea enabled successful forecasting of hazardous events.

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