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Deep magma transport at Kilauea volcano, Hawaii

LITHOS

By:
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DOI: 10.1016/j.lithos.2005.05.004

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Abstract

The shallow part of Kilauea's magma system is conceptually well-understood. Long-period and short-period (brittle-failure) earthquake swarms outline a near-vertical magma transport path beneath Kilauea's summit to 20 km depth. A gravity high centered above the magma transport path demonstrates that Kilauea's shallow magma system, established early in the volcano's history, has remained fixed in place. Low seismicity at 4-7 km outlines a storage region from which magma is supplied for eruptions and intrusions. Brittle-failure earthquake swarms shallower than 5 km beneath the rift zones accompany dike emplacement. Sparse earthquakes extend to a decollement at 10-12 km along which the south flank of Kilauea is sliding seaward. This zone below 5 km can sustain aseismic magma transport, consistent with recent tomographic studies. Long-period earthquake clusters deeper than 40 km occur parallel to and offshore of Kilauea's south coast, defining the deepest seismic response to magma transport from the Hawaiian hot spot. A path connecting the shallow and deep long-period earthquakes is defined by mainshock-aftershock locations of brittle-failure earthquakes unique to Kilauea whose hypocenters are deeper than 25 km with magnitudes from 4.4 to 5.2. Separation of deep and shallow long-period clusters occurs as the shallow plumbing moves with the volcanic edifice, while the deep plumbing is centered over the hotspot. Recent GPS data agrees with the volcano-propagation vector from Kauai to Maui, suggesting that Pacific plate motion, azimuth 293.5?? and rate of 7.4 cm/yr, has been constant over Kilauea's lifetime. However, volcano propagation on the island of Hawaii, azimuth 325??, rate 13 cm/yr, requires southwesterly migration of the locus of melting within the broad hotspot. Deep, long-period earthquakes lie west of the extrapolated position of Kilauea backward in time along a plate-motion vector, requiring southwesterly migration of Kilauea's magma source. Assumed ages of 0.4 my for Kilauea and 0.8 my for Mauna Loa are consistent with this model. Younger ages would apply if Kilauea began its growth south of the locus of maximum melting, as is true for Loihi seamount. We conclude that Kilauea is fed from below the eastern end of the zone of deep long-period earthquakes. Magma transport is vertical below 30 km, then sub-horizontal, following the oceanic mantle boundary separating plagioclase- and spinel-peridotite, then near-vertical beneath Kilauea's summit. The migration of the melting region within the hotspot and Kilauea's sampling of different sources within the melting region can explain (1) the long-term geochemical separation of Kilauea from neighboring volcanoes Mauna Loa and Loihi, and (2) the short-term changes in trace-element and isotope signatures within Kilauea. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rigths reserved.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Deep magma transport at Kilauea volcano, Hawaii
Series title:
LITHOS
DOI:
10.1016/j.lithos.2005.05.004
Volume
87
Issue:
1-2
Year Published:
2006
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
LITHOS
First page:
50
Last page:
79
Number of Pages:
30