Master’s Thesis Defense
Student: Holly Fortener
Department: Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences
Defense Date: Wenesday, July 6th, 2022
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: KWGL 123
Influence of Geometry and Deformation History on the Slip Behavior along the South Flank of Kilauea Volcano
The mobile south flank of Kilauea Volcano on the island of Hawaii is a mechanically complex area. Based on field observations and seismic survey results, a collection of findings reports a pattern of behavior at the south flank: fast-slip behavior (i.e., earthquakes) at the northeastern portion and slow-slip or aseismic displacement at the central portion of the south flank. The notable differences in flank morphology and deformation history at these two areas inspire the following questions: does flank geometry influence the type of slip behavior observed at each area? Alternatively, or in concert, did the removal of the ancient landslide from the embayment, alter the stress state to favor slow-slip events in this area? We use numerical simulations to examine differences in deformation behavior of the northeastern, central, and southwestern portions of Kilauea’s south flank. Our results compare well to nature in unexpected ways, with interesting implications for future south flank slip behavior. We also explore how the sudden removal of an analogue Hilina Slump from the southwestern portion of the south flank might affect the slip behavior and compare this to present-day behavior of the central portion of the south flank, which currently experiences repeating slow-slip.