Heightened seismic activity seen at Hawaii- largest volcano on Earth

Kīlauea is the youngest and southeastern most volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. Topographically Kīlauea appears as only a bulge on the southeastern flank of Mauna Loa, and so for many years Kīlauea was thought to be a mere satellite of its giant neighbor, not a separate volcano. However, research over the past few decades shows clearly that Kīlauea has its own magma-plumbing system, extending to the surface from more than 60 km deep in the earth.
USGS February 4, 2011 report: The summit tiltmeter network recorded continued inflation with six brief deflation events coinciding with the high lava stands; each high stand/tilt event was a linear 0.1 microradian deflation followed by an abrupt inflation back to previous tilt levels. The network of GPS receivers recorded continued extension across the summit since the beginning of November, the most recent part of a long-term extension across the summit crater since early 2010; the extension seems to be fastest in the vicinity of Halema`uma`u Crater. An unusually high number of eighteen earthquakes were strong enough to be located within Kilauea volcano – three deep quakes immediately adjacent to the summit caldera (to the west, north, and east), two beneath the southern edge of the summit caldera, ten within the upper east rift zone (eight clustered beneath Koko`olau Crater including a preliminary magnitude-3.0 quake just before 2 am this morning), and three on south flank faults; the upper east rift zone seismicity continues to be a concern. –USGS
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3 Responses to Heightened seismic activity seen at Hawaii- largest volcano on Earth

  1. L. Davies says:

    This is not the largest volcano on Earth, it is common knowledge that Yellowstone’s mega caldera is, followed by the likes of Taupo. I don’t get how you can say that this is the largest volcano and just ignore all of the super-volcanoes on Earth.


  2. Michael Dennis Stagg says:

    I am not sure why there is a disagreement, if you read the article the topic is volcano, caldera are basically blown out old volcano summits, of which sub-caldera (there is a silly name for convenient description) appear within a complex. What the greatest caldera is? Probably Krakatau but that was rhyolitic and much of it broke into fragment that may be on the Indian Ocean floor, USA west fissure are fluid flows, salts and gases, African a lot of gas, USA volcano trundle on emitting fumes and fluids while rifts shift and the fault shakes, mainly into Mexico Baja. Occasionally mountains blow side vents and the whole structure shakes as in the Alaska Yukon incidents; many of recent volcano details have little history as people were generally not observing them. The Pacific may have the biggest craters? Possibly full of silt and pillow lava glass? So the site is right to be interested, especially with the shallow ‘quake New Zealand Christchurch. Kilauea has been extending apparently since 2010 and the deflation is high, that means swelling and magma motion. So have Pacific systems down toward NZ Vanuatu and the whole chain has been active, slowly, but occasional Fiji deep and NZ shallow occur. The events Chile suggest that the volcano and ‘quake were closely associated, maybe this is what happened with general plate shift Australia toward Pacific north Indian Ocean island fringe, logical tectonics. So the volcano is very important as an indicator. P compression travels (deep) a long way rapidly S wave more slowly (surface) and fluctuations occur; the Christchurch event was enhanced by the basin sediments and some old and some new frame structures that separated. Now what the analysts derive from this remaisn to be seen, but both volcano, surface S wave and long distance shock are contenders for the prize. How big it is ? How newsworthy ? How large a devastation? Sociological relatives. But how well explained will be the work of NZ Geo, very active in Antarctica and South Island volcanology. It looks as if any volcano activity occurred before the ‘quake if relevant. However one does need to look at materials and flows, rhyolitic to basic, magmatic and gas releases to lava and tube congestion and breach. That may be the clue. Mike


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