HEADS UP: This post was meant to be on my Hawaii blog under the Seismic Events menu. Oh well!
Well guys it has been a while since we have seen a true DLP-HFE (deep long period, high frequency event). I believe it occurred twice in the past week but today, May 15, 2019, these events returned with a vengeance! Over 9 of these strange deep seismic events struck between 37km and 46km in depth off the coast of Pahala, Hawaii, off the southern section of the Big Island of Hawaii. In this post I will show you my theory as to what is causing these events. I will also show a great deal of seismic plots as well. If you haven't already, click the title of this post or "read more" to continue...
First off, the first map you see details the locations of any seismic station I use in this post. You can see all 4 seismic stations I used are scattered all across the Big Island of Hawaii. This eliminates any thoughts as to these events being surface events. They are not surface events, as proven by the following data. The 2nd map you see shows the reported events by USGS. If you wish to goto the USGS EQ map showing the reported events, please CLICK HERE. Usually, USGS reports these strange seismic anomalies as "Other Event", seeing there is no other way to describe them. However, this time they are reporting them as regular earthquakes. They are NOT regular earthquakes by any standard.
On May 15, 2019, the southern section of the Big Island saw a large resurgence in these DLP-HFEs (deep long period, high frequency events). That name was not dubbed by a professional, but by myself. The name basically details the main characteristics of these events. They are deep, usually occurring anywhere between 20km and 50km in depth. They also carry a long period of time, with events lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour! Yeah, not any traditional earthquake, that is for sure! And they usually carry too high of a frequency range to be labeled as low frequency events, therefore showing these events do carry higher frequencies than what we should see.
These events are very strange. I have never witnessed them anywhere else in the world, except for Hawaii. And I have analyzed a great deal of seismic data in the 1 year or so I having been conducting monitoring of volcanoes (don't forget that past data is available through IRIS). I have also talked about these events a great many times both on my YouTube channel and on my Hawaii blog here on my website (where this blog post was supposed to be posted). May 15, 2019 saw the highest count of these DLP-HFEs in one 24 hour period! Over 9 of these struck Hawaii today. Although their amplitudes are quite small, showing energy being released is likely around a M1.8 to M2.4 earthquake, their seismic waves traversed huge amounts of land. How is that possible? It all has to do with the depth and the direction the main force of these events were headed.
I currently believe these events are significant in that they are showing us mass magma transport along the mantle plume conduit. Much of the time volcanoes are created by two tectonic plates grinding, with one subsiding under the other. That is why many volcanoes are located along subduction zones world wide (the West Coast of the USA being one example). However, Hawaii volcanoes are caused by a mantle plume, a volcanic hot spot from the mantle into the upper crust (Yellowstone Super-Volcano in Wyoming is a mantle plume hot spot). This allows large amounts of magma, also known as lava once it is on the surface, to reach the surface and create volcanic eruptions. In my opinion, mantle plume hot spots are more dangerous and unpredictable than their counterparts caused by tectonic activity. These DLP-HFEs are showing us mass magma transport along that same conduit. At least that is my take on all of these events I am about to show, and the data seems to support it for now. Any additional information on proving or disproving this theory would be highly acceptable! Comment below or shoot me an email.
Here is an example of the depth of the crust and upper mantle in Hawaii (credit: USGS Volcanoes). Remember the most shallow event of the events that occurred today was reportedly 37km (22mi). That is much deeper than what is shown on this image:
So we can see that the DLP-HFEs are occurring within the mantle. The location and depth, along with the characteristics of the events, seem to indicate mass magma transport along the mantle plume conduit. However, the Kilauea summit is barely seeing any uplift right now. The East Rift Zone of Kilauea, most notably the middle and lower portions, are the areas seeing the most intense inflation (uplift). This is being caused by magma refilling for the next eruption. No doubt about it. Seismic activity is drastically lower in these areas than what we should see during this amount of inflation. Why is that? Feel free to let me know below. Because personally, I have no idea why seismic activity is so low compared to how intense uplift is occurring! Also, Mauna Loa is still seeing continued uplift as well and seems to be inflating slightly more since January 1, 2019. So if these events are signalling mass magma transport at quite a deep depth, I doubt the magma is heading to the Kilauea summit reservoir. These events could be showing magma traveling into either the LERZ/MERZ's reservoir or Mauna Loa's reservoir. I am still too inexperienced to determine that right now.
Below I am going to show the helicorder plots to the 4 stations labeled on the first map in this post. Remember all data below is only from those 4 stations (I did this to eliminate any possibility of surface interference). You might think what you are seeing is surface interference but it is not! This is in slideshow format (you can skip or pause anytime):
Don't those events look dramatic? Well they are! Again amplitudes are quite low, but they traveled quite far due to their depths. Sometimes these events seem to get shallower, and other times they seem to get deeper with time. Over 9 of these events occurred on May 15, 2019. The highest count of these events in any given day! Magnitudes were not as large as the ones I first discovered in January 2019, but the quick and intense resurgence of these events seem to suggest volcanic activity, or at least strong seismic activity, is not over for the Big Island.
Below I will show my own custom plots to all 9 events. I know I stated above that "over" 9 events occurred. This is because I possibly missed 1 or 2 very tiny ones. However to save on time, I will focus on the 9 main DLP-HFEs (deep long period, high frequency events) for May 15th. In the beginning of each event I will show the WAVES seismogram plots proving what I am showing is NOT surface interference. Surface interference/events cannot traverse the entire Big Island of Hawaii. Only when pigs fly can that be possible! Let me know what you think!
Each event will have its own section below. All times on all plots are in UTC and all 3-plot images are in slideshow format. Also don't forget to CLICK HERE to visit the USGS EQ map showing events reported for these strange tremor-like events. Usually USGS labels these as "Other Event", but for some strange reason they are only reporting them as earthquakes. You can compare the times on the USGS EQ map to the times shown below. All plots were generated by myself using the programs SWARM and WAVES. Data was obtained through IRIS DataSelect.
EVENT #4 IS THE BEST OF THIS DAY!
Event #1 started at 5:54UTC and lasted approximately 25 minutes.
Event #2 started at 6:33UTC and lasted approximately 28 minutes.
Event #3 started at 8:27UTC and lasted approximately 23 minutes.
Event #4 (best of May 15)
This was the strongest DLP-HFE of May 15, 2019. Event #4 started at 9:07UTC and lasted approximately 23 minutes.
Event #5 started at 10:21UTC and lasted approximately 22 minutes.
Event #6 started at 11:41UTC and lasted about 19 minutes.
Event #7 started at about 16:26UTC and lasted approximately 37 minutes.
Event #8 started at 20:57UTC and lasted approximately 36 minutes.
Although these seem to be just earthquakes, just for this one event, the data can assure you this is another DLP-HFE. The earthquakes seem to last longer than normal and the normal background tremor is still present, just like all other DLP-HFEs (except others do not show such pronounced earthquakes). Event #9 started at 22:40UTC and lasted approximately 32 minutes.
As you can see, these events are very real and likely show mass magma transport along the mantle plume conduit that feeds volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii. Why are these just occurring now? Why is 2019 basically the only year to see these DLP-HFEs? If anyone has any information if these events have been spotted in other locations or have been spotted prior to the year 2019, please comment below or email me. Stay tuned for more!
Seismic audio of event #4 and event #9 are shown in the video below. Use headphones but be wary of the volume! CLICK HERE to visit the video on YouTube if you wish to show your support. Seismic audio starts at the 21:00 time mark:
Ben Ferraiuolo is a fast learner and someone who will always stand for the truth. Visit "About Me" for more!