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Report on Kama'ehuakanaloa (United States) — March 1990


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 15, no. 3 (March 1990)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Kama'ehuakanaloa (United States) Strong earthquake swarm, suggesting magma movement

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1990. Report on Kama'ehuakanaloa (United States) (McClelland, L., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 15:3. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199003-332000


United States

18.92°N, 155.27°W; summit elev. -975 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

A vigorous earthquake swarm occurred off the S flank of Hawaii 11-19 March 1990 (figure 4). More than 300 events were registered, about 15 of M 3-4, and some of M >4. Seismologists associated many of the events, including the larger ones, with processes at Lōʻihi Seamount. No acoustic signals (T-waves) were reported.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. Portion of a seismogram recorded during Lōʻihi's 11 March 1990 earthquake swarm, by a station (AHU) 45 km from the epicentral area. Courtesy of R. Koyanagi.

Further Reference. Malahoff, A., 1987, Geology of the summit of Lōʻihi submarine volcano, in Decker, R.W., Wright, T.L., and Stauffer, P.H., eds., Volcanism in Hawaii: USGS Professional Paper 1350, p. 133-144.

Geological Summary. The Kama’ehuakanaloa seamount, previously known as Loihi, lies about 35 km off the SE coast of the island of Hawaii. This youngest volcano of the Hawaiian chain has an elongated morphology dominated by two curving rift zones extending north and south of the summit. The summit region contains a caldera about 3 x 4 km and exhibits numerous lava cones, the highest of which is about 975 m below the ocean surface. The summit platform also includes two well-defined pit craters, sediment-free glassy lava, and low-temperature hydrothermal venting. An arcuate chain of small cones on the western edge of the summit extends north and south of the pit craters and merges into the crests prominent rift zones. Seismicity indicates a magmatic system distinct from that of Kilauea. During 1996 a new pit crater formed at the summit, and lava flows were erupted. Continued volcanism is expected to eventually build a new island; time estimates for the summit to reach the ocean surface range from roughly 10,000 to 100,000 years.

Information Contacts: P. Okubo and R. Koyanagi, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.