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Seminar, Jackie Caplan-Auerbach

April 19 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm MDT

Jackie Caplan-Auerbach

Remarkable parallels between two extraordinary eruptions: Lo`ihi, 1996, and Kilauea, 2018

Jackie Caplan-Auerbach

In May of 2018, a new phase of eruptive activity began on Kilauea volcano, eventually causing destruction in the Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ), the collapse of Halema`uma`u crater at the volcano’s summit, and putting an end to 35 years of continuous eruptive activity. Seismicity during the event began with down-rift propagation of earthquakes into the LERZ and a magnitude 6.9 event beneath the submarine south flank. Once LERZ eruptive activity began, seismicity shifted to the summit region where it was associated with 64 M5+ earthquakes, representing rhythmic collapse events at Halema`uma`u.

Although this event was unique among observed eruptions at Kilauea, it bears remarkable similarity to an eruption that took place in 1996 on Lo`ihi seamount. Lo`ihi, the youngest volcano in the Hawaiian archipelago, lies 35 km south of Kilauea with its summit ~1 km below sea level. Like the 2018 events on Kilauea, the 1996 eruption began with earthquakes beneath the southern rift zone. After a day of quiescence seismic activity shifted to the summit region, with 75 earthquakes >M4 recorded over the following month. These events were found to be associated with the collapse of the summit platform and the formation of a new pit crater. The smaller size of the Lo`ihi quakes relative to those at Kilauea is consistent with the relative dimensions of the two craters.

In this presentation I compare the two events, setting them in the framework of the volcanoes’ longer term eruptive histories. The similarity between the two events suggests that that they share commonalities in volcanic structure and evolution, despite the difference in age and activity level. It allows us to extrapolate observations from Kilauea, which is more densely instrumented and better understood, to Lo`ihi. It also provides insight into what we might expect from both volcanoes moving forward.

When: April 19, 2021
Time: 3:00 PM
Where: Zoom Meeting ID: 921 9311 8789