Material failure and caldera collapse: Insights from the 2018 Kilauea eruption

Earth and Planetary Science Letters



The Failure Forecast Method (FFM) was introduced as an empirical model for forecasting catastrophic material failures related to natural hazards, such as landslides and volcanic eruptions, with mixed success. During the 2018 eruption of Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, the draining of the summit magma reservoir into the Lower East Rift Zone resulted in the formation of a new caldera at the summit. I tested the applicability of the FFM to caldera collapse by analyzing the cyclical earthquake swarms and ground deformation that occurred between 62 sudden major caldera collapse events. The progression of both the cumulative moment release of the cyclical earthquakes and the GNSS displacement show a major change in mid-June. In late May through early June, the progression of the parameters is consistent with strain localization or creep progression related to the development or activation of the ring fault system. From late June until the end of the eruption, parameter progression is roughly steady with initial accelerating increases in cumulative moment and displacement that shift to approximately linear progression. Analysis of repeating earthquake families in the cyclical swarms showed that the behavior of the repeaters was consistent with that of the cyclical swarms as a whole and suggested that each family undergoes its own progression of activation to termination. While the FFM analysis identified the system change in mid-June, it did not demonstrate an ability to forecast collapse events or the end of the eruption.

    Study Area

    Publication type Article
    Publication Subtype Journal Article
    Title Material failure and caldera collapse: Insights from the 2018 Kilauea eruption
    Series title Earth and Planetary Science Letters
    DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116621
    Volume 553
    Year Published 2021
    Language English
    Publisher Elsevier
    Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
    Description 116621, 10 p.
    Country United States
    State Hawaii
    Other Geospatial Kilauea volcano
    Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
    Additional publication details