Pele stirred, but resumption of Big Island’s Kīlauea volcano no longer likely
This story was updated at 6:25 p.m. Saturday, March 11.
After stirring earlier today, it looks like Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes and fire, might not reawaken after all.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported earlier in the day that a shallow earthquake swarm was detected beneath the summit of Kīlauea volcano, accompanied by significant surface tilt excursion. The observatory’s notice said resumption of eruptive activity at Kīlauea summit was likely imminent.
Geophysical signals recorded by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory indicate a magmatic intrusion occurred beneath the summit between about 11 a.m. and noon Saturday. The earthquake swarm earlier in the day was followed at 11:50 a.m. by a magnitude-3.4 quake about 2.5 miles southwest of Volcano at a depth of about 0.6 of a mile.
However, as of 5:30 p.m., seismicity had returned to background levels, ground deformation stabilized and no lava had been observed at the surface.
“Resumption of eruptive activity at Kīlauea summit no longer appears to be imminent, although it is possible that another intrusion or resumption may occur in the near future with little or no warning,” the observatory’s update said.
The pause in eruptive activity that began about five days ago continues and Kīlauea remains at the Watch alert level. The current eruption, which has been confined within Halema‘uma‘u crater, paused after 61 days.
Tiltmeters have been recording an inflationary signal at Kīlauea summit since March 7, indicating magma has been accumulating beneath the surface. Summit tilt has stabilized since about noon, although
slow inflation continues.
No unusual activity has been noted along the either of the volcano’s rift zones.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to monitor Kīlauea for any changes.