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Modeling the occurrence of M ∼ 5 caldera collapse-related earthquakes in Kīlauea volcano, Hawai'i

December 28, 2021

During the 2018 Kīlauea eruption and caldera collapse, M ∼ 5 caldera collapse earthquakes occurred almost daily from mid-May until the beginning of August. While caldera collapses happen infrequently, the collapse-related seismicity damaged nearby structures, and so these events should be included in a complete seismic hazard assessment. Here, we present an approach to forecast the seismic hazard of the collapse earthquakes. We model their occurrence by combining a Poisson distribution for the number of collapses with a negative binomial for the number of earthquakes in a collapse, based on observations at Kīlauea. This rate model is then combined with a ground motion model to assess the seismic hazard posed by caldera collapse events. The rate model is non-Poisson but a Poisson model is adequate for low exceedance probabilities (e.g., <10% in 50 years). This approach could be generalized to model the hazard from earthquakes triggered by other underlying processes.

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