We investigate earthquake distribution and focal mechanisms associated with the 2018 Kīlauea volcano eruption in Hawaii. Our high-precision earthquake relocations delineate an aseismic zone bounded by two subhorizontal bands of seismicity at 3.5 and 7 km depths beneath the eastern south flank, both of which are dominated by the shallow-dipping reverse faulting during the 2018 activity. We interpret the deeper seismicity as related to the basal décollement that separates the volcanic edifice from the oceanic crust. The shallower seismicity is a feature exhibited in the recent activity and, which we propose, reveals a detachment that either represents the contact between Mauna Loa and Kīlauea volcanoes or coincides with the onland extension of the base of the Hilina slump. We suggest that large earthquakes, such as the 1975 Mw 7.7 and the 2018 Mw 6.9 mainshocks, are capable of triggering failures of both the basal décollement and the shallower surface.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)