The petrologic and degassing behavior of sulfur and other magmatic volatiles from the 2018 eruption of Kilauea, Hawai'i: melt concentrations, magma storage depths, and magma recycling


Kilauea Volcano's 2018 lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption produced exceptionally high lava effusion rates and record-setting SO2 emissions. The eruption involved a diverse range of magmas, including primitive basalts sourced from Kilauea's summit reservoirs. We analyzed LERZ matrix glasses, melt inclusions, and host minerals to identify melt volatile contents and magma storage depths. The LERZ glasses and melt inclusions span nearly the entire compositional range previously recognized at Kilauea. Melt inclusions in Fo(86-89) olivine from the main eruptive vent (fissure 8) underwent 70-170 degrees C cooling during transport in LERZ carrier melts, causing extensive post-entrapment crystallization and sulfide precipitation. Many of these melt inclusions have low sulfur (400-900 ppm) even after correction for sulfide formation. CO2 and H2O vapor saturation pressures indicate shallow melt inclusion trapping depths (1-5 km), consistent with formation within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u and South Caldera reservoirs. Many of these inclusions also have degassed delta S-34 values (1.5 to -0.5%). Collectively, these results indicate that some primitive melts experienced near-surface degassing before being trapped into melt inclusions. We propose that decades-to-centuries of repeated lava lake activity and lava drain-back during eruptions (e.g., 1959 Kilauea Iki) recycled substantial volumes of degassed magma into Kilauea's shallow reservoir system. Degassing and magma recycling from the 2008-2018 Halema'uma'u lava lake likely reduced the volatile contents of LERZ fissure 8 magmas, resulting in lower fountain heights compared to many prior Kilauea eruptions. The eruption's extreme SO2 emissions were due to high lava effusion rates rather than particularly volatile-rich melts.



Degassing, Melt inclusions, Sulfur budget, delta S-34, Magma recycling, Kilauea Volcano