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Magnitudes of historic Hawaiian earthquakes estimated from macroseismic maps



Magnitudes of historic Hawaiian earthquakes estimated from macroseismic maps



Seismological Research Letters 59(1): 18



Macroseismic maps were compiled for 33 Hawaiian earthquakes which occurred during the ,period 1868 to 1983. Their magnitudes ranged from 4.3 to 8.1, with most of them around M = 6. The maximum intensities ranged from V to X, and some of the radii of the felt areas reached 600 km, the extent of the Hawaiian island chain. The two largest historic ruptures (M>7) occurred along the south coast of the island of Hawaii in April 1868 and November 1975, and the two next largest events (M approximately 7) were located along its west coast (October 1929, August 1951). Major shocks also occurred off Maui (M > 6.5). The Kaoiki region located between the summits of Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes, produces the largest number of moderate earthquakes (M > 5.5). The gradient of the isoseismals as a function of epicentral distance is steeper than in other areas of the United States and indicates a stronger attenuation of seismic waves. The difference in isoseismal gradients between earthquakes of crustal and subcrustal depths beneath the volcanic systems of Hawaii is noticeable, and on this basis, two of the 18 earthquakes without instrumental hypocenter locations were tentatively assigned sub-crustal depths. A relationship between magnitude and felt area was derived from 9 earthquakes for which instrumental magnitudes exist, and this was used to estimate the magnitudes of 14 historic earthquakes without instrumental magnitudes.

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Accession: 019361678

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