Aseismic deformation across the Hilina fault system, Hawaii, revealed by wavelet analysis of InSAR and GPS time series

Manoochehr Shirzaei, R. Bürgmann, J. Foster, T. R. Walter, B. A. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The Hilina Fault System (HFS) is located on the south flank of Kilauea volcano and is thought to represent the surface expression of an unstable edifice sector that is active during seismic events such as the 1975 Kalapana earthquake. Despite its potential for hazardous landsliding and associated tsunamis, no fault activity has yet been detected by means of modern geodetic methods, since the 1975 earthquake. We present evidence from individual SAR interferograms, as well as cluster analysis and wavelet analysis of GPS and InSAR time series, which suggest an inferred differential motion at HFS. To investigate the effect of atmospheric delay on the observed differential motion, we implement a statistical approach using wavelet transforms. We jointly analyze InSAR and continuous GPS deformation data from 2003 to 2010, to estimate the likelihood that the subtle time-dependent deformation signal about the HFS scarps is not associated with the atmospheric delay. This integrated analysis reveals localized deformation components in the InSAR deformation time series that are superimposed on the coherent motion of Kilauea's south flank. The statistical test suggests that at 95% confidence level, the identified differential deformation at HFS is not due to atmospheric artifacts. Since no significant shallow seismicity is observed over the study period, we suggest that this deformation occurred aseismically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-19
Number of pages8
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
StatePublished - Aug 5 2013


  • Cluster analysis
  • Hawaii
  • InSAR
  • Landslide
  • Wavelet analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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