Kauai News

No signs of imminent eruption following earthquake near Kīlauea

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There are no signs of an imminent eruption following a magnitude 4.1 earthquake along Kīlauea’s south flank Saturday night.

The tumbler struck at 8:47 p.m. and rattled nine miles south of Fern Forest and was followed by three aftershocks. Earthquake counts in the Upper East Rift Zone remain above background and increased slightly over the past 24 hours, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

From Saturday to Sunday, there were approximately 25 earthquakes detected beneath Kaluapele (Kīlauea caldera) and 95 earthquakes detected beneath the Upper East Rift Zone, mostly at depths of 0.6–1.8 miles beneath the ground surface.

The number of Upper East Rift Zone events is increased compared to the past several days (which each had around 20 events per day) but remains well below the counts recorded during the June 27–July 1 Upper East Rift Zone swarm.


Rates of seismicity and ground deformation beneath the middle and lower East Rift Zone and lower Southwest Rift Zone remain low. Recent eruptive activity and ongoing unrest have been restricted to the summit and upper rift zone regions.

Measurements from continuous gas monitoring stations downwind of Puʻuʻōʻō in the middle East Rift Zone—the site of 1983–2018 eruptive activity—remain below detection limits for SO2, indicating that SO2 emissions from Puʻuʻōʻō are negligible.

Kīlauea erupted briefly on June 3 southwest of the summit region within a closed area of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.


Following that event, magma has been repressurizing the storage system beneath Halemaʻumaʻu and the south caldera region, activating earthquakes in the caldera south of Halemaʻumaʻu and in the upper East Rift Zone.

Longer-term, gradual inflation of the summit and upper rift zones has persisted since the end of the eruption. At this time, experts say it is not possible to say whether this activity will lead to an intrusion or eruption in the near future, or simply continue as seismic unrest at depth.

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


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