Review of Classic Volcanology Paper: Lipman & Banks, Aa Flow Dynamics, Mauna Loa

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Submitted By cburrill
Words 3561
Pages 15
Christine Burrill November 19, 2012 AA Flow Dynamics, Mauna Loa 1984 by Peter W. Lipman & Norman G. Banks

I. Introduction
The paper on ‘a’a flow dynamics written by Lipman and Banks is one of the first comprehensive studies regarding detailed observations of a long and complex ‘a’a lava flow. This paper was also one of the first to establish connections between lava flow morphology and changes in lava properties, specifically gas and crystal content. The flow that was studied was generated by the 1984 eruption along the northeast rift zone of Mauna Loa volcano, Hawaii (fig. 1). The major flow reached 27 km from the source vent after four days from the start of the eruption (Lipman and Banks, 1987). A decrease in the eruption rate, related to an increase in microphenocrysts and decrease in gas content of erupted lava, generated lava boats that blocked the flow. Blockages led to lava overflowing channel levees, redirecting the lava supply and leading to a stagnation of the major flow. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the key points from the study of the 1984 eruption, investigate some of the impacts this study has had on subsequent research and give a critical evaluation of the study.
II. Major Points of Paper
Flow Types
Lipman and Banks (1987) observed distinctive types of ‘a’a that developed at certain distances from the vent, with certain changes in slope of the terrain and the way the flow advanced. The four types of ‘a’a are transitional or slabby, scoriaceous, clinkery and blocky. The different types of ‘a’a are also a result in changes of magma rheology, and flow rates. Significant pahoehoe flows were, at first, restricted in extent to within 5 km of the vent (Lipman and Banks, 1987). Most pahoehoe flows were much less than 5 km and were therefore not the main focus of the paper. In well-established…...

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