Joint analysis of geodetic and earthquake fault-plane solution data to constrain magmatic sources: A case study from Kīlauea Volcano

Christelle Wauthier, Diana C. Roman, Michael P. Poland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A joint analysis of geodetic and seismic datasets from Kīlauea Volcano during a period of magmatic unrest in 2006 demonstrates the effectiveness of this combination for testing and constraining models of magma dynamics for a complex, multi-source system. At the end of 2003, Kīlauea's summit began a four-year-long period of inflation due to a surge in magma supply to the volcano. In 2006, for the first time since 1982, Kīlauea's Southwest Rift Zone (SWRZ) also experienced inflation. To investigate the characteristics of active magma sources and the nature of their interactions with faults in the SWRZ during 2006, we integrate, through Coulomb stress modeling, contemporary geodetic data from InSAR and GPS with a new catalogue of double-couple fault-plane solutions for volcano-tectonic earthquakes. We define two periods of inflation during 2006 based on the rate of deformation measured in daily GPS data, spanning February to 15 March 2006 (Period 1) and 16 March to 30 September 2006 (Period 2). InSAR data for these two periods are inverted to determine the position, change in size, and shape of inflation sources in each period. Our new models are consistent with microseismic activity from each period. They suggest that, during Period 1, deformation in the SWRZ can be explained by pressurization of magma in a spherical reservoir beneath the south caldera, and that, during Period 2, magma was also aseismically intruded farther to the southwest into the SWRZ along a sub-horizontal plane. Our Coulomb stress analysis shows that the microseismicity recorded in the SWRZ is induced by overpressurization of the south caldera reservoir, and not by magma intrusion into the SWRZ. This study highlights the importance of a joint analysis of independent geophysical datasets to fully constrain the nature of magma accumulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-48
Number of pages11
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Joint analysis of geodetic and earthquake fault-plane solution data to constrain magmatic sources: A case study from Kīlauea Volcano'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this