Observation of Tidal Tilt on Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii

Davis, PM, Rydelek PA, Agnew DC, Okamura AT.  1987.  Observation of Tidal Tilt on Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii. Geophysical Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society. 90:233-244.

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We have analysed the east-west tilt components, O1, K1, N2, M2 and S2 from a continuously recording tiltmeter located in Uwekahuna Vault on Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, for the period 1971—79. Detailed analysis of the M2 component gives values of 30.9 ± 2.0 (95 per cent) nrad and 116.0 ± 2.0° for the amplitude and phase, respectively, compared to values of 48.5 nrad and 139.4° for the equilibrium tide. the total theoretical tide, found by summing the equilibrium and load tides, amounts to 37.2 nrad at a phase of 121.7°. the 20 per cent discrepancy with that observed may be due to an inaccurate cotical chart, cavity effects in the vault, strain—tilt coupling or an inappropriate solid earth model. In the vicinity of Hawaii (≤ 3°) two independent cotidal charts give almost identical results for the near field ocean load. At greater distances, we use the Schwiderski (1978) cotidal chart. We estimate that local cavity and strain—tilt coupling effects are less than 12 per cent owing to the agreement between geodetically determined and instrumental tilt but we can not rule out regional effects. Assuming these are small and the cotical charts correct, we find that the M2 results are brought into satisfactory agreement if, instead of using an average oceanic earth model in the (< 75 km) vicinity of Hawaii, we use an earth model with nearly one-half the oceanic rigidity. Such a low upper mantle and crustal rigidity is consistent with Kilauea's position above the thermal upwelling associated with the Hawaiian hotspot.