Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth

Volcano-tectonic implications of 3-D velocity structures derived from joint active and passive source tomography of the island of Hawaii



[1] We present a velocity model of the onshore and offshore regions around the southern part of the island of Hawaii, including southern Mauna Kea, southeastern Hualalai, and the active volcanoes of Mauna Loa, and Kilauea, and Loihi seamount. The velocity model was inverted from about 200,000 first-arrival traveltime picks of earthquakes and air gun shots recorded at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO). Reconstructed volcanic structures of the island provide us with an improved understanding of the volcano-tectonic evolution of Hawaiian volcanoes and their interactions. The summits and upper rift zones of the active volcanoes are characterized by high-velocity materials, correlated with intrusive magma cumulates. These high-velocity materials often do not extend the full lengths of the rift zones, suggesting that rift zone intrusions may be spatially limited. Seismicity tends to be localized seaward of the most active intrusive bodies. Low-velocity materials beneath parts of the active rift zones of Kilauea and Mauna Loa suggest discontinuous rift zone intrusives, possibly due to the presence of a preexisting volcanic edifice, e.g., along Mauna Loa beneath Kilauea's southwest rift zone, or alternatively, removal of high-velocity materials by large-scale landsliding, e.g., along Mauna Loa's western flank. Both locations also show increased seismicity that may result from edifice interactions or reactivation of buried faults. New high-velocity regions are recognized and suggest the presence of buried, and in some cases, previously unknown rift zones, within the northwest flank of Mauna Loa, and the south flanks of Mauna Loa, Hualalai, and Mauna Kea.