As part of the Hawaii Scientific Drilling Project, Kahi Puka Well 1 penetrated about 275 m of Mauna Loa basalts overlying a sequence of Mauna Kea flow units as it was drilled and cored to a total depth of 1053 m below land surface. A borehole televiewer (BHTV) was run in most of the well in successive stages prior to casing in order to obtain magnetically oriented acoustic images of the borehole wall. A total of 283 individual fractures were identified from this log and characterized in terms of strike and dip. These data are divided into three vertical sections based upon age and volcanic source, and lower hemisphere stereographic plots identify two predominant, subparallel fracture subsets common to each section. Assuming that most of the steeply dipping fractures observed in the BHTV log are tensile features generated within basalt flows during deposition and cooling, this fracture information can be combined with models of the evolution of the island of Hawaii to investigate the depositional history of these Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea basalts over the past 400 kyr. The directions of high-angle fractures appear to be generally parallel to topography or to the coastline at the time of deposition, as is supported by surface mapping of modern flows. Consequently, an overall counterclockwise rotation of about 75?? in the strike of these fractures from the bottom to the top of the well represents a systematic change in depositional slope direction over time. We attribute the observed rotation in the orientations of the two predominant fracture subsets over the past 400 kyr to changes in the configurations of volcanic sources during shield building and to the structural interference of adjacent volcanoes that produces shifts in topographic patterns.
Additional publication details
Analysis of fractures intersecting Kahi Puka Well 1 and its relation to the growth of the island of Hawaii