From the beginning of the study of Hawaiian volcanism there has been controversy over possible relationships between the neighbouring active volcanoes Mauna Loa and Kilauea1-5. Seismic activity, thought to reflect upward migration of magma, reveals that the magmatic plumbing systems apparently converge at depth to form a broad funnel within the mantle6. Although on rare occasions they have erupted concurrently, the brief historical eruptive record appears to show that when Kilauea is most active, Mauna Loa is in repose and vice versa, suggesting that they may be competing for the same magma supply5,7. Petrological, geochemical and isotope data, however, require a diametrically opposite conclusion. Distinct differences in major-element, trace-element and isotope compositions of lavas are regarded as compelling evidence that the two volcanoes have separate magmatic plumbing systems, supplied by parental magmas from physically and geochemically distinct mantle sources8-13. Here we present preliminary geochemical data which show that in the past 2,000 years Kilauea has erupted a spectrum of lava compositions resembling historical Kilauea lavas at one end and Mauna Loa lavas at the other. We discuss the cause of this diversity, and speculate that magma from Mauna Loa may have invaded Kilauea's 'high-level' magmatic plumbing system. ?? 1989 Nature Publishing Group.
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Geochemical evidence for invasion of Kilauea's plumbing system by Mauna Loa magma