Hawaii's Deep Plumbing System

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Science  17 May 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6134, pp. 788
DOI: 10.1126/science.340.6134.788-a

Hawaii's Deep Plumbing System Mauna Loa and Kilauea—separated by only ∼30 km on the island of Hawaii—are presently two of the most active volcanoes in the world. They are fueled by the magmatic activity associated with the Hawaiian hot spot, which provides a rich source of melted mantle materials. Does the activity at one influence the other? Shirzaei et al. show, using gas measurements and geophysical data, that the two volcanoes were linked during surges of uprising mantle material between 2006 and 2008. Satellite data of ground deformation and time-dependent inverse modeling suggest that the two volcanoes simultaneously inflated during a time of increased magma supply. A cluster of seismic events 20 km below Mauna Loa, near the deep magma source, immediately preceded activity at Kilauea—including increased CO2 emissions and a series of shallow "silent earthquakes." During times when the deep magma supply is not surging, there may be independent or anticorrelated volcanic activity at either volcano, related to older, shallower trapped magma.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 40, 10.1002/grl.50470 (2013).

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