Seismic tomography of compressional wave attenuation structure for Ki¯lauea Volcano, Hawai'i

Guoqing Lin, Peter M. Shearer, Falk Amelung, Paul G. Okubo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We present a frequency-independent three-dimensional (3-D) compressional wave attenuation model (indicated by the reciprocal of quality factor Qp) for Ki¯lauea Volcano in Hawai'i. We apply the simul2000 tomographic algorithm to the attenuation operator t∗ values for the inversion of Qp perturbations through a recent 3-D seismic velocity model and earthquake location catalog. The t∗ values are measured from amplitude spectra of 26708 P wave arrivals of 1036 events recorded by 61 seismic stations at the Hawaiian Volcanology Observatory. The 3-D Qp model has a uniform horizontal grid spacing of 3 km, and the vertical node intervals range between 2 and 10 km down to 35 km depth. In general, the resolved Qp values increase with depth, and there is a correlation between seismic activity and low-Qp values. The area beneath the summit caldera is dominated by low-Qp anomalies throughout the entire resolved depth range. The Southwest Rift Zone and the East Rift Zone exhibit very high Qp values at about 9 km depth, whereas the shallow depths are characterized with low-Qp anomalies comparable with those in the summit area. The seismic zones and fault systems generally display relatively high Qp values relative to the summit. The newly developed Qp model provides an important complement to the existing velocity models for exploring the magmatic system and evaluating and interpreting intrinsic physical properties of the rocks in the study area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2510-2524
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Kilauea
  • attenuation
  • seismic tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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