Landslides with volumes exceeding 1000 km3 have occurred on the flanks of Hawaiian volcanoes. Because the flanks typically slope seaward no more than 12??, the mechanics of slope failure are problematic. Limit-equilibrium analyses of wedge-shaped slices of the volcano flanks show that magma injection at prospective headscarps might trigger the landslides, but only under very restrictive conditions. Additional calculations show that groundwater head gradients associated with topographically induced flow and sea-level change are less likely to be important. Thus a simple, quantitative explanation for failure of Hawaiian volcano flanks remains elusive, and more complex scenarios may merit investigation. -from Author
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Can magma-injection and groundwater forces cause massive landslides on Hawaiian volcanoes?