Mantle Fault Zone Beneath Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii

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Science  18 Apr 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5618, pp. 478-480
DOI: 10.1126/science.1082205

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Relocations and focal mechanism analyses of deep earthquakes (≥13 kilometers) at Kilauea volcano demonstrate that seismicity is focused on an active fault zone at 30-kilometer depth, with seaward slip on a low-angle plane, and other smaller, distinct fault zones. The earthquakes we have analyzed predominantly reflect tectonic faultingin the brittle lithosphere rather than magma movement associated with volcanic activity. The tectonic earthquakes may be induced on preexisting faults by stresses of magmatic origin, although background stresses from volcano loading and lithospheric flexure may also contribute.

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