Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 55, Issue 1–2, pp 1–16 | Cite as

Petrology of lavas from episodes 2–47 of the Puu Oo eruption of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii: Evaluation of magmatic processes

  • M O Garcia
  • J M Rhodes
  • E W Wolfe
  • G E Ulrich
  • R A Ho


The Puu Oo eruption of Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii is one of its largest and most compositionally varied historical eruptions. The mineral and whole-rock compositions of the Puu Oo lavas indicate that there were three compositionally distinct magmas involved in the eruption. Two of these magmas were differentiated (<6.8 wt% MgO) and were apparently stored in the rift zone prior to the eruption. A third, more mafic magma (9–10 wt% MgO) was probably intruded as a dike from Kilauea's summit reservoir just before the start of the eruption. Its intrusion forced the other two magmas to mix, forming a hybrid that erupted during the first three eruptive episodes from a fissure system of vents. A new hybrid was erupted during episode 3 from the vent where Puu Oo later formed. The composition of the lava erupted from this vent became progressively more mafic over the next 21 months, although significant compositional variation occurred within some eruptive episodes. The intra-episode compositional variation was probably due to crystal fractionation in the shallow (0.0–2.9 km), dike-shaped (i.e. high surface area/volume ratio) and open-topped Puu Oo magma reservoir. The long-term compositional variation was controlled largely by mixing the early hybrid with the later, more mafic magma. The percentage of mafic magma in the erupted lava increased progressively to 100% by episode 30 (about two years after the eruption started). Three separate magma reservoirs were involved in the Puu Oo eruption. The two deeper reservoirs (3–4 km) recharged the shallow (0.4–2.9 km) Puu Oo reservoir. Recharge of the shallow reservoir occurred rapidly during an eruption indicating that these reservoirs were well connected. The connection with the early hybrid magma body was cut off before episode 30. Subsequently, only mafic magma from the summit reservoir has recharged the Puu Oo reservoir.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • M O Garcia
    • 1
  • J M Rhodes
    • 2
  • E W Wolfe
    • 3
  • G E Ulrich
    • 4
  • R A Ho
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology and GeophysicsUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geology and GeographyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  3. 3.US Geological SurveyVancouverUSA
  4. 4.US Geological SurveySarasotaUSA

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