Hawaii News

Heightened unrest resumes beneath Big Island’s Kīlauea volcano

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Pele is once again tossing and turning beneath the summit of Kilauea volcano on the Big Island after not even a week of the Hawaiian volcano goddess relaxing and eventually easing back into background levels of activity.

Panorama of Halemaʻumaʻu and down-dropped caldera floor from the west rim of the Kīlauea summit caldera, looking east. (Still image from U.S. Geological Survey webcam)

Heightened unrest resumed earlier this morning underneath one of the world’s most active volcanoes.

There were fewer than 30 earthquakes detected during the past day throughout the summit, south caldera and upper East Rift Zone areas. Depths averaged between 0.16 and 1.9 miles and their magnitudes were all less than 2.0.

At about 7:30 a.m. today, the number of earthquakes beneath the summit increased and low frequency energy pulses set in. Ground deformation also continues beneath Halemaʻumaʻu crater and the south caldera area.

The Uēkahuna tiltmeter northwest of the summit recorded minor deflation during the past day. The Sand Hill tiltmeter southwest of the summit recorded minor deflation as well. Sulfur dioxide gas emission rates remain low.


Rates of seismicity under the upper and middle East Rift Zones decreased throughout the past week and returned to background levels. Seismicity in the Southwest Rift Zone is low.

It is not possible to say whether this renewed increase in heightened activity will lead to an intrusion or an eruption in the near future, or simply continue as unrest.

Changes in the character and location of unrest can occur quickly, as can the potential for eruption, but there are no signs of imminent eruption at this time.

Magma has been pressurizing the system beneath Halemaʻumaʻu and the south caldera region, causing seismicity in the upper East Rift Zone and the volcano’s caldera south of Halemaʻumaʻu.

Panorama thermal image of Halemaʻumaʻu from the west rim of the Kīlauea summit caldera, looking east. (Still image from U.S. Geological Survey thermal imaging webcam)

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will continue to provide daily updates while Kīlauea rumbles more.

The volcano’s alert level is at Advisory, while the aviation color code is yellow.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to monitor Kīlauea closely for any signs of additional increasing activity.

You can find the daily updates online or via telephone at 808-967-8862.


You can also watch a live view of Halemaʻumaʻu crater from the northwest rim of the caldera, looking east.

Contact the volcano observatory with questions via email at askHVO@usgs.gov.


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