Stress Control of Deep Rift Intrusion at Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawaii

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Science  18 May 2007:
Vol. 316, Issue 5827, pp. 1026-1030
DOI: 10.1126/science.1140035

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Mauna Loa volcano, Hawaii, deforms by a combination of shallow dike intrusions in the rift zones and earthquakes along the base of the volcano, but it is not known how the spreading is accommodated in the lower part of the volcanic edifice. We present evidence from interferometric synthetic aperture radar data for secular inflation of a dike-like magma body at intermediate depth in the southwest rift zone during 2002 to 2005. Magma accumulation occurred in a section of the rift zone that was unclamped by previous dikes and earthquakes, suggesting that stress transfer plays an important role in controlling subsurface magma accumulation.

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