Gravity fluctuations induced by magma convection at Kilauea Volcano, Hawai'i

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Convection in magma chambers is thought to play a key role in the activity of persistently active volcanoes, but has only been inferred indirectly from geochemical observations or simulated numerically. Continuous microgravity measurements, which track changes in subsurface mass distribution over time, provide a potential method for characterizing convection in magma reservoirs. We recorded gravity oscillations with a period of ~150 s at two continuous gravity stations at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i. The oscillations are not related to inertial accelerations caused by seismic activity, but instead indicate variations in subsurface mass. Source modeling suggests that the oscillations are caused by density inversions in a magma reservoir located ~1 km beneath the east margin of Halema‘uma‘u Crater in Kīlauea Caldera—a location of known magma storage.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Gravity fluctuations induced by magma convection at Kilauea Volcano, Hawai'i
Series title Geology
DOI 10.1130/G33060.1
Volume 40
Issue 9
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Volcano Hazards Program
Description 4 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Geology
First page 803
Last page 806
Country United States
State Hawai'i
Other Geospatial Kilauea Volcano