skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, May 23 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, May 24 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: A Compound Faulting Model for the 1975 Kalapana, Hawaii, Earthquake, Landslide, and Tsunami
Abstract

The Kalapana, Hawaii,MW7.7 earthquake on November 29, 1975 generated a local tsunami with at least 14.3 m runup on the southeast shore of Hawaii Island adjacent to Kilauea Volcano. This was the largest locally generated tsunami since the great 1868 Ka'u earthquake located along‐shore to the southwest. Well‐recorded tide gauge and runup observations provide a key benchmark for studies of statewide tsunami hazards from actively deforming southeast Hawaii Island. However, the source process of the earthquake remains controversial, with coastal landsliding and/or offshore normal or thrust faulting mechanisms having been proposed to reconcile features of seismic, geodetic, and tsunami observations. We utilize these diverse observations for the 1975 Kalapana earthquake to deduce a compound faulting model that accounts for the overall tsunamigenesis, involving both landslide block faulting along the shore and slip on the island basal décollement. Thrust slip of 4.5–8.0 m on the offshore décollement produces moderate near‐field runup but controls the far‐field tsunami. The slip distribution implies that residual strain energy was available for the May 4, 2018MW7.2 thrust earthquake during the Kilauea‐East Rift Zone eruption. Local faulting below land contributes to geodetic and seismic observations, but is non‐tsunamigenic and not considered. Slip of 4–10 m on landslide‐like faults, which extend from the Hilina Fault Zone scarp to offshore shallowly dipping faults reaching near the seafloor, triples the near‐field tsunami runup. This compound model clarifies the roles of the faulting components in assessing tsunami hazards for the Hawaiian Islands.

 
more » « less
Award ID(s):
1802364
NSF-PAR ID:
10372633
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume:
126
Issue:
11
ISSN:
2169-9313
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    A Mw 7.2 earthquake struck the south flank of Kilauea, Hawaii, on 4 May 2018, following a period of volcanic unrest. To investigate its relationship with the stress changes induced by prior tectonic and magmatic activity, we model the coseismic slip distribution, preintrusion deformation, and dike intrusion using geodetic, seismic, and tsunami observations. The décollement beneath the south flank was creeping seaward by ~25 cm/year. Diking started on 20 April and led to fissure eruption on 3 May. The magmatic activity and creep resulted in an onshore U‐shaped zone of stress unloading, fringed by an off‐shore zone of stress buildup that apparently guided the 2018 rupture. It takes only 20 to 35 years at the preintrusion rate to accumulate a moment deficit equivalent to the moment that was released in 2018. This event falls short of balancing the moment budget since the 1975 Mw 7.7 earthquake.

     
    more » « less
  2. Abstract Strong tsunami excitation from slow rupture of shallow subduction zone faults is recognized as a key concern for tsunami hazard assessment. Three months after the 22 July 2020 magnitude 7.8 thrust earthquake struck the plate boundary below the Shumagin Islands, Alaska, a magnitude 7.6 aftershock ruptured with complex intraplate faulting. Despite the smaller size and predominantly strike-slip faulting mechanism inferred from seismic waves for the aftershock, it generated much larger tsunami waves than the mainshock. Here we show through detailed analysis of seismic, geodetic, and tsunami observations of the aftershock that the event implicated unprecedented source complexity, involving weakly tsunamigenic fast rupture of two intraplate faults located below and most likely above the plate boundary, along with induced strongly tsunamigenic slow thrust slip on a third fault near the shelf break likely striking nearly perpendicular to the trench. The thrust slip took over 5 min, giving no clear expression in seismic or geodetic observations while producing the sizeable far-field tsunami. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Most large tsunamis are generated by earthquakes on offshore plate boundary megathrusts. The primary factors influencing tsunami excitation are the seismic moment, faulting geometry, and depth of the faulting. Efforts to provide rapid tsunami warning have emphasized seismic and geodetic methods for quickly determining the event size and faulting geometry. It remains difficult to evaluate the updip extent of rupture, which has significant impact on tsunami excitation. TeleseismicPwaves can constrain this issue; slip under deep water generates strongpwPwater reverberations that persist as ringingPcodaafter the directPphases from the faulting have arrived. Event‐averagedPcoda/Pamplitude measures at large epicentral distances (>80°), tuned to the dominant periods of deep waterpwP(~12–15 s), correlate well with independent models of whether slip extends to near the trench or not. Data at closer ranges (30° to 80°) reduce the time lag needed for inferring the updip extent of rupture to <15 min. Arrival ofPPandPPPphases contaminates closer distancePcodameasures, but this can be suppressed by azimuthal or distance binning of the measures. Narrowband spectral ratio measures and differential magnitude measures ofPcodaand directP(mB) perform comparably to broader band root‐mean‐square (RMS) measures.Pcoda/Plevels for large nonmegathrust events are also documented. Rapid measurement ofPcoda/Pmetrics after a large earthquake can supplement quick moment tensor determinations to enhance tsunami warnings; observation of largePcodalevels indicates that shallow submarine rupture occurred and larger than typical tsunami (for givenMW) can be expected.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    On 29 July 2021, anMW8.2 thrust‐faulting earthquake ruptured offshore of the Alaska Peninsula within the rupture zone of the 1938MW8.2 earthquake. The spatiotemporal distribution of megathrust slip is resolved by jointly inverting regional and teleseismic broadband waveforms along with co‐seismic static and high‐rate GNSS displacements. The primarily unilateral rupture expanded northeastward, away from the rupture zone of the 22 July 2020MW7.8 Shumagin earthquake. Large slip extends along approximately 175 km, spanning about two third of the estimated 1938 aftershock zone, with well‐bounded depth from 20 to 40 km, and up to 8.6 m slip near the hypocenter. The rupture terminated in the eastern portion of the 1938 aftershock zone in a region of very large geodetic slip deficit where peak slip appears to have occurred in the 1938 rupture. The 2021 and 1938 events do not have similar slip distributions and do not indicate persistent asperities.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract Despite a lack of modern large earthquakes on shallowly dipping normal faults, Holocene M w  > 7 low-angle normal fault (LANF; dip<30°) ruptures are preserved paleoseismically and inferred from historical earthquake and tsunami accounts. Even in well-recorded megathrust earthquakes, the effects of non-linear off-fault plasticity and dynamically reactivated splay faults on shallow deformation and surface displacements, and thus hazard, remain elusive. We develop data-constrained 3D dynamic rupture models of the active Mai’iu LANF that highlight how multiple dynamic shallow deformation mechanisms compete during large LANF earthquakes. We show that shallowly-dipping synthetic splays host more coseismic slip and limit shallow LANF rupture more than steeper antithetic splays. Inelastic hanging-wall yielding localizes into subplanar shear bands indicative of newly initiated splay faults, most prominently above LANFs with thick sedimentary basins. Dynamic splay faulting and sediment failure limit shallow LANF rupture, modulating coseismic subsidence patterns, near-shore slip velocities, and the seismic and tsunami hazards posed by LANF earthquakes. 
    more » « less