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Transient deformation following the 30 January 1997 dike intrusion at Kīlauea volcano, Hawai’i

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On 30 January 1997 an intrusion on Kīlauea volcano opened a new fissure within the East Rift Zone (ERZ) at Nāpau Crater, 3 km uprift from the ongoing eruptions at Pu’u ’Ō’ō. The fissure eruption lasted 22 h and opened a 5.1 km long, nearly vertical dike 1.9 m, extending from the surface to a depth of 2.4 km (Owen et al. 2000b). During the eruption, the lava pond at Pu’u ’Ō’ō drained, and eruptions ceased there. Pu’u ’Ō’ō eventually refilled in late February and eruptions resumed there on 28 March 1997. Continuous GPS data show a large transient following the 30 January 1997 dike intrusion. After lengthening 40 cm during the initial eruption, the baseline between two stations spanning the ERZ lengthened an additional 10 cm over the following 6 months. A coastal station KAEP also exhibited transient deformation, as it continued to move southward (5 cm) over the same 6-month period. The baseline between two stations spanning Kīlauea’s summit caldera contracted sharply during the eruption, but gradually recovered to slightly longer than its previous length 2 months after the intrusion. We use the extended network inversion filter (McGuire and Segall 2003) to invert continuous GPS data for volume change of a spherical pressure source under Kīlauea’s summit, opening distribution on a nearly vertical dike in the ERZ and potential slip on a decollement 9 km beneath the south flank. Following the 30 January intrusion, rift extension continued below the initial dike intrusion for the duration of the transient. Decollement slip, regardless of its assumed depth, is not required to fit the data. The modeled transient summit reinflation and rift opening patterns under Nāpau crater coincide with changes in observed behavior of Pu’u ’Ō’ō’s lava pond. Rift opening accelerated while Pu’u ’Ō’ō eruptions paused and began to decelerate after the lava pond reappeared nearly a month after the Nāpau eruption. The transient deformation is interpreted as resulting from shallow accommodation of the new dike volume.

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This work was supported by the Robert and Marvel Kirby Stanford Graduate Fellowship, The Evolving Earth Foundation, and NSF Grant EAR-9902875. We would also like to thank P. Cervelli and A. Miklius for processing the GPS data, J. Murray for her help with filtering, O. Lengline for the seismic data, and S. Owen and the HVO staff for enlightening discussions.

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Correspondence to Emily K. Desmarais.

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Editorial responsibility: M. Ripepe

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Desmarais, E.K., Segall, P. Transient deformation following the 30 January 1997 dike intrusion at Kīlauea volcano, Hawai’i. Bull Volcanol 69, 353–363 (2007).

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  • Kīlauea
  • Transient
  • Deformation
  • Extended network inversion filter
  • Dike
  • Intrusion