GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 162-12
Presentation Time: 11:25 AM


DIETTERICH, Hannah R., U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Volcano Observatory, 4230 University Drive Ste 100, Anchorage, AK 99508, DIEFENBACH, Angela K., U.S. Geological Survey, Cascades Volcano Observatory, 1300 SE Cardinal Court, #100, Vancouver, WA 98683, PATRICK, Matthew, Hawaii Volcano Observatory, US Geological Survey, PO Box 51, Hawaii National Park, HI 96718 and LUNDGREN, Paul, NASA, Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasedena, CA 91109

The 2018 eruption from Kīlauea’s Lower East Rift Zone in Hawai‘i produced ~1.2 km3 of lava over more than three months and destroyed infrastructure and homes across the lower Puna District. This effusive eruption caused rapid and dramatic topographic change, with significant implications for tracking the emplacement and growth of the lava flows, as well as assessing the ever-changing areas at risk from lava inundation as the eruption progressed. We integrated repeated assessment of topographic change with lava flow modeling to provide timely data and analysis to emergency managers while capturing the three-dimensional evolution of the lava flow field in detail. High resolution (0.1–3 m) digital elevation models (DEMs) were produced as frequently as possible (minimum of 45 minutes) throughout the eruption to update topography for new lava flow forecasts and document the changing volume and morphology of the lava flow field. These data were primarily derived through repeated surveys by small unoccupied aircraft systems (sUAS) collecting photographs for structure-from-motion photogrammetry processing, in addition to two syn-eruptive lidar surveys and seven flights of NASA’s GLISTIN-A airborne InSAR instrument that provided broader spatial coverage. To produce lava flow forecasts, flows were modeled from active vents and overflow locations over these up-to-date DEMs using the DOWNFLOW model and similar codes based on steepest-descent paths and approximating flow thickness and ponding. Fast topographic data processing and rapid modeling allowed for flow forecasts to be issued promptly and improved accuracy during eruption response. Topographic change was also analyzed to monitor the evolution in lava volume and morphology through time. Initial results, in conjunction with submarine bathymetry data, show a total volume of 1.2 km3 and an increase in eruption rate from ~7 m3/s in early May up to >150 m3/s by July. Analysis of flow morphology shows the establishment and evolution of the channel system, levees, and surface textures over the course of the eruption and with distance from vent, providing an unprecedented dataset for understanding lava flow dynamics. Our results demonstrate the value of repeat high resolution topographic surveys for hazard response and volcanology.