Linking magma transport structures at Kīlauea volcano

Geophysical Research Letters
By:  and 



Identifying magma pathways is important for understanding and interpreting volcanic signals. At Kīlauea volcano, seismicity illuminates subsurface plumbing, but the broad spectrum of seismic phenomena hampers event identification. Discrete, long-period events (LPs) dominate the shallow (5-10 km) plumbing, and deep (40+ km) tremor has been observed offshore. However, our inability to routinely identify these events limits their utility in tracking ascending magma. Using envelope cross-correlation, we systematically catalog non-earthquake seismicity between 2008-2014. We find the LPs and deep tremor are spatially distinct, separated by the 15-25 km deep, horizontal mantle fault zone (MFZ). Our search corroborates previous observations, but we find broader-band (0.5-20 Hz) tremor comprising collocated earthquakes and reinterpret the deep tremor as earthquake swarms in a volume surrounding and responding to magma intruding from the mantle plume beneath the MFZ. We propose the overlying MFZ promotes lateral magma transport, linking this deep intrusion with Kīlauea’s shallow magma plumbing.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Linking magma transport structures at Kīlauea volcano
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1002/2015GL064869
Volume 42
Issue 17
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 8 p.
First page 7090
Last page 7097
Country United States
State Hawaii
Other Geospatial Kilauea volcano
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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