Shallow conduit system at Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, revealed by seismic signals associated with degassing bursts

Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
By:  and 



Eruptive activity at the summit of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, beginning in March, 2008 and continuing to the present time is characterized by episodic explosive bursts of gas and ash from a vent within Halemaumau Pit Crater. These bursts are accompanied by seismic signals that are well recorded by a broadband network deployed in the summit caldera. We investigate in detail the dimensions and oscillation modes of the source of a representative burst in the 1−10 s band. An extended source is realized by a set of point sources distributed on a grid surrounding the source centroid, where the centroid position and source geometry are fixed from previous modeling of very-long-period (VLP) data in the 10–50 s band. The source time histories of all point sources are obtained simultaneously through waveform inversion carried out in the frequency domain. Short-scale noisy fluctuations of the source time histories between adjacent sources are suppressed with a smoothing constraint, whose strength is determined through a minimization of the Akaike Bayesian Information Criterion (ABIC). Waveform inversions carried out for homogeneous and heterogeneous velocity structures both image a dominant source component in the form of an east trending dike with dimensions of 2.9 × 2.9 km. The dike extends ∼2 km west and ∼0.9 km east of the VLP centroid and spans the depth range 0.2–3.1 km. The source model for a homogeneous velocity structure suggests the dike is hinged at the source centroid where it bends from a strike E 27°N with northern dip of 85° west of the centroid, to a strike E 7°N with northern dip of 80° east of the centroid. The oscillating behavior of the dike is dominated by simple harmonic modes with frequencies ∼0.2 Hz and ∼0.5 Hz, representing the fundamental mode ν11 and first degenerate mode ν12 = ν21 of the dike. Although not strongly supported by data in the 1–10 s band, a north striking dike segment is required for enhanced compatibility with the model elaborated in the 10–50 s band. This dike provides connectivity between the east trending dike and the new vent within Halemaumau Pit Crater. Waveform inversions with a dual-dike model suggest dimensions of 0.7 × 0.7 km to 2.6 × 2.6 km for this segment. Further elaboration of the complex dike system under Halemaumau does not appear to be feasible with presently available data.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Shallow conduit system at Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, revealed by seismic signals associated with degassing bursts
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
DOI 10.1029/2011JB008677
Volume 116
Issue 12
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 22 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
First page B12317
Country United States
State Hawai'i
Other Geospatial Kilauea Volcano