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Seismic and geodetic progression of the 2018 summit caldera collapse of Kīlauea Volcano

April 8, 2020

The 2018 eruption of Kīlauea volcano, Hawaiʻi, resulted in a major collapse of the summit caldera along with an effusive eruption in the lower East Rift Zone. The caldera collapse comprised 62 highly similar collapse cycles of strong ground deformation and earthquake swarms that ended with a magnitude 5 collapse event and one partial cycle that did not end with a collapse event. We analyzed geodetic and seismic data to better understand how the caldera collapse progressed over 3 months of activity, focusing on the cyclical activity. We identified 3 main phases of collapse: initial ring-fault activation and small explosions (Phase 1), an eastward shift in activity and freeing of the central piston (Phase 2), and a recoupling of the piston to the reservoir followed by relatively steady behavior until the eruption’s end (Phase 3). Additionally, we observed geodetic evidence of tangential motion from the localization of the main ring fault (Phase 2) and the formation of a major peripheral ring fault on the eastern side of the collapse caldera during Phase 3. Both geodetic and seismic parameters suggest that the collapse may have had an eastward-component of motion after the ring fault system had formed. The cyclical seismic and geodetic parameters show no obvious signs that the collapse was coming to an end, with the only notable change being a significant increase in the ratio of cyclical displacement to co-collapse displacement observed during the last complete cycle on GNSS stations outside the caldera region.

Publication Year 2020
Title Seismic and geodetic progression of the 2018 summit caldera collapse of Kīlauea Volcano
DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116250
Authors Gabrielle Tepp, Alicia J. Hotovec-Ellis, Brian Shiro, Ingrid Johanson, Weston Thelen, Matthew M. Haney
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Index ID 70209463
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center