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Complete Report for Mauna Kea Volcano (Class B) No. 2601

Brief Report ||Partial Report

citation for this record: Cannon, E.C., and Burgmann, R.Roland, compilers, 2006, Fault number 2601, Mauna Kea Volcano, in Quaternary fault and fold database of the United States: U.S. Geological Survey website,, accessed 04/16/2014 07:02 AM.

Synopsis Mauna Kea Volcano is a postshield-stage volcano that last erupted approximately 4,000 years ago (Wolfe and others, 1997 #6978). Whereas Kohala [2600] and Hualalai [2602] have volcanic lineaments defined by broad topographic ridges with volcanic cones and lava flows, volcanic lineaments on Mauna Kea are very poorly developed or may not exist at present.

Name comments Mauna Kea Volcano is located on sheets 1 and 2 (of 3) of the 1:100,000-scale geologic map compiled by Wolfe and Morris (1996 #6977), available in digital format from Trusdell and others (2006 #6976).
County(s) and State(s) HAWAII, HAWAII
Reliability of location Poor
Compiled at 1: scale.

Comments: Mauna Kea does not have well-defined alignments of volcanic cones on topographic ridges to suggest that shield-stage rift zones are overlain by postshield-stage volcanic lineaments. Thus, information is not provided in this compilation for the digital trace, average strike, length, endpoint locations, sense of movement, dip, or dip direction of Quaternary faults. Refer to Peterson and Moore (1987 #6970), Wolfe and others (1997 #6978), and Holcomb and others (2000 #6945) for more details regarding their interpretation of Mauna Kea rift zones including one showing Kohala's southeast rift zone as extending to the Hilo Ridge, and not the Hilo Ridge as a rift zone of Mauna Kea [2600b].

Geologic setting The three main surficial volcanic units found on Mauna Kea Volcano are the younger (4-13 ka) and older (16-65 ka) members of the Holocene and Pleistocene Laupahoehoe Volcanics, and the Pleistocene Hamakua Volcanics (65-70 ka to 200-250 ka) (Wolfe and others, 1997 #6978). Mauna Kea is the only Hawaiian volcano with documented evidence of glaciation (Porter, 1987 #6971). The three glacial members are the Pleistocene Makanaka Glacial Member (13-40 ka), Waihk Glacial Member (70-150 ka from K-Ar dating, exposure age of 60-70 ka), and the Pohakuloa Glacial Member (exposure age of 140-156 ka) (Porter, 1987 #6971; Wolfe and others, 1997 #6978).

Length (km) km.
Average strike
Sense of movement
Dip Direction
Paleoseismology studies

Geomorphic expression Mauna Kea does not display volcanic lineaments in the form of topographic ridges with volcanic cones. Multiple interpretations exist of the geometries of rifts associated with the volcano.

Age of faulted surficial deposits The oldest surficial rocks on Mauna Kea, the Pleistocene Hamakua Volcanics (65-70 ka to 200-250 ka; Wolfe and others, 1997 #6978), are not faulted.
Historic earthquake
Most recent prehistoric deformation Quaternary (<1.6 Ma)

Comments: Multiple rift zones probably existed on Mauna Kea during active shield-stage volcanism. Mauna Kea's volcanism started approximately 1 Ma, and the transition from shield-stage to postshield-stage volcanism took place approximately 200-250 ka (Wolfe and others, 1997 #6978). Once the volcano reached postshield-stage, volcanic activity along the rift zones probably declined greatly (Wolfe and Morris, 1996 #6977), and postshield-stage volcanism buried the inactive, shield-stage rift zones. Postshield-stage Laupahoehoe and Hamakua Volcanics scoria cones and lava domes crop out on Mauna Kea, and magma transport may or may not have followed rift zone pathways during postshield-stage volcanism.

Recurrence interval
Slip-rate category Less than 0.2 mm/yr

Comments: Herein considered to be <0.2 mm/yr and likely inactive. The most recent postshield-stage eruptive activity on Mauna Kea occurred approximately 4,000 years ago (Wolfe and others, 1997 #6978).
Date and Compiler(s) 2006
Eric C. Cannon, none
Roland Burgmann, University of California at Berkeley
References #6945 Holcomb, R.T., Nelson, B.K., Reiners, P.W., and Sawyer, N.-L., 2000, Overlapping volcanoes: The origin of Hilo Ridge, Hawaii: Geology, v. 28, no. 6, p. 547-550.

#6970 Peterson, D.W., and Moore, R.B., 1987, Geologic history and evolution of geologic concepts, Island of Hawaii, 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. 149-189.

#6971 Porter, S.C., 1987, Pleistocene subglacial eruptions on Mauna Kea, 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. 587-598.

#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.

#6978 Wolfe, E.W., Wise, W.S., and Dalrymple, G.B., 1997, The geology and petrology of Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii; a study of postshield volcanism: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1557, 129 p., 4 plates, scale 1:24,000 and 1:100,000.