Stratigraphy of the Hawai‘i Scientific Drilling Project core (HSDP2): Anatomy of a Hawaiian shield volcano

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Abstract

[1] The Hawai‘i Scientific Drilling Project (HSDP2) successfully drilled ∼3.1 km into the island of Hawai‘i. Drilling started on Mauna Loa volcano, drilling 247 m of subaerial lavas before encountering 832 m of subaerial Mauna Kea lavas, followed by 2019 m of submarine Mauna Kea volcanic and sedimentary units. The 2.85 km stratigraphic record of Mauna Kea volcano spans back to ∼650 ka. Mauna Kea subaerial lavas have high average olivine contents (13 vol.%) and low average vesicle abundances (10 vol.%). Most subaerial Mauna Kea flows are ‘a‘ā (∼63%), whereas the Mauna Loa section contains nearly equal amounts of pāhoehoe and ‘a‘ā (like its current surface). The submarine Mauna Kea section contains an upper, ∼900 m thick, hyaloclastite-rich section and a lower, ∼1100 m thick, pillow-lava-dominated section. These results support a model that Hawaiian volcanoes are built on a pedestal of pillow lavas capped by rapidly quenched, fragmented lava debris. The HSDP2 section is compared here to a 1.7 km deep hole (SOH1) on Kilauea's lower east rift zone. Differences in the sections reflect the proximity to source vents and the lower magma supply to Kilauea's rift zone. Both drill core sections are cut by intrusions, but the higher abundance of intrusions in SOH1 reflects its location within a rift zone, causing more extensive alteration in the SOH1 core. The HSDP2 site recovered a relatively unaltered core well suited for geochemical analyses of the single deepest and most complete borehole ever drilled through a Hawaiian or any other oceanic island volcano.

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