Abstract

Note: This paper is dedicated to Aaron and Elizabeth Waters on the occasion of Dr. Waters' retirement.

Three types of chemically similar pahoehoe flows were observed to form during the 1969–1971 Mauna Ulu eruption. (1) A cavernous type called shelly pahoehoe, characterized by fragile gas cavities, small tubes, and buckled fragments of surface crust, was deposited when gas-charged lava welled out of the source fissure with little or no accompanying fountaining. (2) A comparatively smooth-surfaced, dense type, characterized by surface channels and only a few large cavities, formed from voluminous flows of partly degassed fallout away from the foot of lava fountains more than 100 m high. (3) A relatively dense type, characterized by hummocky surfaces with abundant low tumuli and overlapping pahoehoe toes and lobes, formed when largely degassed lava issued from tubes after flowing underground for several kilometers or more. Shelly pahoehoe is rarely found in the geologic record, but the other two types occur commonly. These three types of pahoehoe, which are completely intergradational, can be related qualitatively to the relative gas content and mode of flowage of the lava. The present surface of Kilauea is underlain mostly by hummocky, tube-fed pahoehoe.

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