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Complete Report for Hilina fault system, 'Apua Pali section (Class A) No. 2610m

Brief Report ||Partial Report

citation for this record: Cannon, E.C., and Burgmann, R.Roland, compilers, 2006, Fault number 2610m, Hilina fault system, 'Apua Pali section, in Quaternary fault and fold database of the United States: U.S. Geological Survey website,, accessed 10/01/2014 02:09 AM.

Synopsis General: The first person to map the faults on the south flank of Kilauea Volcano remains unknown, but Wood (1914 #6979) noted that subsidence occurred on the oceanward side of these structures related to the 1868 Great Ka'u earthquake, an estimated M8 earthquake (Wyss, 1988 #6980). Tilling and others (fig. 16, 1976 #6974) summarize faulting on the Hilina fault system associated with the November 29, 1975, M7.2 Kalapana earthquake. Lipman and others (1985 #6952) provide a comprehensive report of the 1975 Kalapana earthquake. Refer to the description of the November 29, 1975, Kalapana earthquake in this compilation for more details. Kellogg and Chadwick (1987 #6948) record 1975 Kalapana earthquake fault offsets preserved in the Mauna Ulu pahoehoe lava flows (1969-1974) for the central Hilina fault system. Riley and others (1999 #6972) estimate the depth of the Hilina fault system and recurrence interval for the 1975 Kalapana earthquake using paleomagnetic measurements of south flank lava flows. Expanding on the work of Kellogg and Chadwick (1987 #6948), Cannon and Burgmann (2001 #6934) and Cannon and others (2001 #6935) present detailed fracture maps of central Hilina faults, estimate prehistoric fault offset rates and recurrence intervals for large (M>6) prehistoric south flank earthquakes, and provide evidence for a shallow rather than a deep-seated interpretation for some of the Hilina faults. Faulting along the Hilina fault system is related to large (M>6) earthquakes on the southern flank of Kilauea Volcano. Delaney and others (1998 #6939) conclude that the small strains observed across the southern flank in the past several decades suggest that the Hilina faults remained inactive except for during the 1975 Kalapana earthquake. The landslide and tsunami potential of the Hilina fault system remains a great concern. Ma and others (1999 #6984) estimate that the tsunami created by the 1975 Kalapana earthquake displaced approximately 2.5 cubic kilometers of water. Along the coast and offshore of Kilauea's south flank to the southeast, the Hilina fault system may represent the landslide headscarps to the submarine Hilina slump and Papa'u sand-rubble flow. Slumps and seafloor structures offshore of the Hilina fault system are interpreted as landslide blocks and debris (see Moore and others, 1989 #6961, 1995 #6958; Moore and Chadwick, 1995 #6959; Morgan and others, 2000 #6964, 2003 #6965). Significant coastal and submarine mass movements may have occurred within the past 100 ka. Geologic evidence demonstrates the existence of Quaternary deformation, but the fault system is associated with volcanic features that might not extend deeply enough to be a potential source of significant earthquakes.

Sections: This fault has 15 sections. The Hilina fault system is an approximately 50-km-long, 5-km-wide zone of primarily normal faults that extend east across the southeastern flank of Kilauea Volcano. For this long fault system, we identify 15 fault sections based on fault-scarp morphology reflected on 7.5-minute topographic maps, continuity of expression, and evidence of apparent recent movement from cross-cutting relations of faults, fractures, and lava flows. The large number of sections for this fault system in particular is largely the result of young movement, high rates of movement, associations with large historic earthquakes, and focused study by researchers. The 15 sections are Pu'u Mo'o [2610a], Kukalau'ula Pali [2610b], Hilina Pali [2610c], Keana Bihopa [2610d], Pu'u Ka'one [2610e], Pu'u Kapukapu [2610f], Makahanu Pali [2610g], Pu'u'eo Pali [2610h], Kipukapapalinamoku 2610i], Poliokeawe Pali [2610j], 'Ainahou [2610k], Holei Pali [2610l], 'Apua Pali [2610m], Paliuli [2610n], and Pulama pali [2610o].
Name comments General:
The Hilina fault system consists of a set of roughly east-trending normal fault structures with moderate dips to the south and southeast. The term pali, used in several of the section names, is the Hawaiian work for "cliff" or "scarp." For example, the name Hilina Pali represents the geomorphic scarp of the Hilina fault. Another term used, pu'u is the Hawaiian work for "hill."

The 'Apua Pali section is in the central to eastern region of the Hilina fault system.
County(s) and State(s) HAWAII COUNTY, HAWAII
Reliability of location Good
Compiled at 1:100,000 scale.

Comments: The fault trace is shown on the 1:100,000-scale geologic map as concealed (Wolfe and Morris, 1996 #6977), and the geomorphic fault scarp is recognizable on the 1:24,000-scale Makaopuhi Crater and Kalapana topographic maps. Cannon and Burgmann (2001 #6934) present detailed fracture maps of the 1975 Kalapana earthquake based on fracture mapping in Mauna Ulu pahoehoe lava flows (1969-1974) that flowed across 'Apua Pali.

Geologic setting The Hilina fault system is a normal fault system in the southern flank of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai'i. The present southern flank is being displaced to the southeast along a basal detachment by high-level rift zone intrusions and deep-seated gravitational spreading of the island. Between 1990 and 1996, south flank horizontal velocity rates determined from global positioning system (GPS) surveys indicate as much as 10 cm/yr of lateral motion (Owen and others, 1995 #6968, 2000 #6969). This slightly northwest-dipping basal detachment at approximately 8-10 km depth represents the boundary between ocean lithosphere and the volcanic edifice. Pelagic sediment deposited on the seafloor prior to the formation of the volcanic edifice could be lubricating the basal detachment and promoting southeastward motion of the south flank. A comprehensive analysis of geodetic data for the 1975 Kalapana earthquake (Owen and Burgmann, 2006 #6985) indicates that measured ground deformation on the south flank is best explained by a combination of faulting of the basal detachment, opening of the east rift zone [2608b] and southwest rift zone [2608c], a summit eruption and collapse of the summit magma chamber, and faulting on the Hilina fault system.

Sections of the Hilina fault system may vary in depth from shallow, arcuate normal faults to steeply dipping normal fault splays off the deep, basal detachment. Cannon and others (2001 #6935) conclude that Holei Pali [2610l] and 'Apua Pali [2610m] have fault dips of about 20? at the surface and may flatten downward, reaching a 1-2 km depth at the coast and possibly intersecting the base of a 2- to 3-km-thick hyaloclastic layer offshore (Morgan and others, 2000 #6964). Riley and others (1999 #6972) interpret Hilina Pali [2610c] to be a cylindrical (curved) fault that extends to a depth of 5 km. The Hilina fault system may also be a network of steeply-dipping normal fault splays off the 8- to 10-km-deep basal detachment (Lipman and others, 1985 #6952), with microseismicity possibly being localized at the intersection (Okubo and others, 1997 #6982).

Length (km) This section is 7 km of a total fault length of 50 km.
Average strike N. 65° E. (for section) versus N. 69° E. (for whole fault)
Sense of movement

Comments: From Wolfe and Morris (1996 #6977).

Dip Direction S
Paleoseismology studies

Geomorphic expression The largest scarp is approximately 55 m high with a scarp slope of about 20?.

Age of faulted surficial deposits Faults cut surface lava flows that range in age from historic to 1,500-3,000 yr B.P. (Wolfe and Morris, 1996 #6977). The Mauna Ulu lava flows (1969-1974) cover 'Apua Pali to the west and are cut by the fault. See Holcomb (1987 #6944) for details of ages of individual lava flows.
Historic earthquake Kalapana earthquake M7.2 1975
Kaimu earthquake 1823
Ka'u earthquake 1868
Most recent prehistoric deformation Latest Quaternary (<15 ka)

Comments: The maximum horizontal and vertical fault offsets across 'Apua Pali from the 1975 Kalapana earthquake are 0.82?0.02 m and -0.43?0.04 m, respectively (one-sigma instrument measurement uncertainty; Cannon and others, 2001 #6935). A negative vertical fault offset indicates hanging wall-down motion. Cannon and Burgmann (2001 #6934) present an 'Apua Pali fault rupture map for the 1975 Kalapana earthquake for 'Apua Pali regions covered by Mauna Ulu lava flows (1969-1974).

Recurrence interval 20-40 yr

Comments: Based on a field site on 'Apua Pali where both 400-750 yr B.P. lava flows and Mauna Ulu lava flows (1969-1974) were faulted by the 1975 Kalapana earthquake along the same fracture (Cannon and Burgmann, 2001 #6934). The fracture in the older lava flow has a total offset of 89 cm while the Mauna Ulu flow only has 5 cm of total offset. This recurrence interval range, which is based on the assumption that 17-18 events similar size events have ruptured this part of the fault system, yields short recurrence times, but this rate of earthquakes is not supported by the number of historic earthquakes that have produced fault rupture on the south flank of Kilauea. Non-tectonic movement of the fracture may have occurred.
Slip-rate category Between 1.0 and 5.0 mm/yr

Comments: Kellogg and Chadwick (1987 #6948) first determined fault offsets in prehistoric and Mauna Ulu (1969-1974) lava flows along 'Apua Pali. Building on their work, Cannon and Burgmann (2001 #6934) calculated fault slip rates based on fault offsets in 400-750 yr B.P. lava flows for 'Apua Pali. The calculated slip rates are approximately 0.4 mm/yr horizontal and 0.1 mm/yr vertical (a negative vertical rate indicates hanging wall-down motion), which yield a net slip rate of about 0.4 mm/yr. However, fracture preservation may be poor, as indicated by the frequent estimated recurrence interval of 20-40 years. Poliokeawe Pali [2610j] and Holei Pali [2610l] have scarp heights approximately four times larger than the 'Apua Pali's scarp, with total offset that indicate rates of approximately 5-6 mm/yr. These lines of evidence suggests that the estimated slip rate falls in the 1-5 mm/yr category, but the actual rate is probably close to 1-2 mm/yr based on field observations and on comparison of scaled slip rates with Poliokeawe Pali [2610j] and Holei Pali [2610l].
Date and Compiler(s) 2006
Eric C. Cannon, none
Roland Burgmann, University of California at Berkeley
References #6934 Cannon, E.C., and Burgmann, R., 2001, Prehistoric fault offsets of the Hilina fault system, south flank of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 106, no. B3, p. 4207-4219.

#6935 Cannon, E.C., Burgmann, R., and Owen, S.E., 2001, Shallow normal faulting and block rotation associated with the 1975 Kalapana earthquake, Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 91, no. 6, p. 1553-1562.

#6939 Delaney, P.T., Denlinger, R.P., Lisowski, M., Miklius, A., Okubo, P.G., Okamura, A.T., and Sako, M.K., 1998, Volcanic spreading at Kilauea, 1976-1996: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 103, no. B8, p. 18,003-18,023.

#6944 Holcomb, R.T., 1987, Eruptive history and long-term behavior of Kilauea Volcano, in Decker, R.W., Wright, T.L., and Stauffer, P.H., eds. Volcanism in Hawaii: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1350, v. 1, p. 261-350.

#6948 Kellogg, J.N., and Chadwick, W., 1987, Neotectonic study of the Hilina fault system, Kilauea, Hawaii: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 19, no. 6, p. 394.

#6952 Lipman, P.W., Lockwood, J.P., Okamura, R.T., Swanson, D.A., and Yamashita, K.M, 1985, Ground deformation associated with the 1975 magnitude-7.2 earthquake and resulting changes in activity of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1276, 45 p.

#6984 Ma, K.-F., Kanamori, H., and Satake, K., 1999, Mechanism of the 1975 Kalapana, Hawaii, earthquake inferred from tsunami data: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 104, no. B6, p. 13,153-13,167.

#6959 Moore, J.G., and Chadwick, W.W., Jr., 1995, Offshore geology of Mauna Loa and adjacent areas, Hawaii in Rhodes, J.M., and Lockwood, J.P., eds., Mauna Loa revealed-Structure, composition, history, and hazards: American Geophysical Union Geophysical Monograph, v. 92, p. 21-44.

#6958 Moore, J.G., Bryan, W.B., Beeson, M.H., and Normark, W.R., 1995, Giant blocks in the South Kona landslide, Hawaii: Geology, v. 23, no. 2, p. 125-128.

#6961 Moore, J.G., Clague, D.A., Holcomb, R.T., Lipman, P.W., Normark, W.R., Torresan, M.E., 1989, Prodigious submarine landslides on the Hawaiian Ridge: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 94, no. B12, p. 17,465-17,484.

#6965 Morgan, J.K., Moore, G.F., and Clague, D.A., 2003, Slope failure and volcanic spreading along the submarine south flank of Kilauea volcano, Hawaii: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 108, no. B9, p. 2415, doi:10.1029/2003JB002411

#6964 Morgan, J.K., Moore, G.F., Hill, D.J., and Leslie, S., 2000, Overthrusting and sediment accretion along K_lauea's mobile south flank, Hawaii: Evidence from volcanic spreading from marine seismic reflection data: Geology, v. 28, no. 7, p. 667-670.

#6982 Okubo, P.G., Benz, H.M., and Chouet, B.A., 1997, Imaging the crustal magma sources beneath Mauna Loa and Kiluea volcanoes, Hawaii: Geology, v. 25, no. 10, p. 867-870.

#6985 Owen, S.E., and Burgmann, R., 2006, An increment of volcano collapse—Kinematics of the 1975 Kalapana, Hawaii, earthquake: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 104, no. 1, p. 163-185.

#6968 Owen, S., Segall, P., Freymueller, J., Miklius, A., Denlinger, R., Arnadottir, T., Sako, M., and Burgmann, R., 1995, Rapid deformation of the south flank of Kilauea Volcano: Science, v. 267, no. 5205, p. 1328-1332.

#6969 Owen, S., Segall, P., Lisowski, M., Miklius, A., Denlinger, R., Freymueller, J., Arnadottir, T., and Sako, M., 2000, Rapid deformation of Kilauea Volcano: GPS measurements between 1990 and 1996: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 105, no. B8, p. 18,983-18,998.

#6972 Riley, C.M., Diehl, J.F., Kirschvink, J.L., and Ripperdan, R.L., 1999, Paleomagnetic constraints on fault motion in the Hilina fault system, south flank of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 94, no. 1-4, p. 233-249.

#6974 Tilling, R.I., Koyanagi, R.Y., Lipman., P.W, Lockwood, J.P., Moore, J.G., and Swanson, D.A., 1976, Earthquake and related catastrophic events. Island of Hawaii, November 29, 1975-A preliminary report: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 740, 33 p.

#6976 Trusdell, F.A., Wolfe, E.W., and Morris, J., 2006, Digital database of the geologic map of the island of Hawai'i: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 144 supplement to Miscellaneous Investigations Series Map I-2524-A, 18 p, 1 sheet, scale 1:100,000.

#6977 Wolfe, E.W., and Morris, J., 1996, Geologic map of the island of Hawaii: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigations Series Map I-2524-A, 18 p., 3 sheets, scale 1:100,000.

#6979 Wood, H.O., 1914, On the earthquakes of 1868 in Hawaii: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 4, p. 169-203.

#6980 Wyss, M., 1988, A proposed source model for the Great Kau, Hawaii, earthquake of 1868: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 78, no. 4, p. 1450-1462.