(BIVN) – Mauna Loa Volcano is not erupting, scientists say, and activity appears to be settling down following last week’s earthquake swarm.
“Rates of seismicity remain slightly elevated above long-term background levels,” the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported on Thursday. “Other Mauna Loa monitoring data streams – ground deformation, gas concentrations, visual appearance in webcams – show no significant changes.”
A short-lived earthquake swarm was detected under Mauna Loa volcano last week, as rates of seismicity temporarily increased above long-term background levels on the evening of August 2, however returned to background levels by the morning of August 3. About 90 earthquakes were located beneath Moku‘āweoweo, Mauna Loa’s summit caldera, at a depth of around 2 miles below the surface. During the earthquake swarm, “a minor tilt increase of 1.5 microradians was observed on one tiltmeter (MOK) at the summit, though a small part of this signal includes normal diurnal effects.”
The USGS noted that the swarm was a “relatively small increase in volcanic unrest and remains within the range of fluctuations observed over the past several years.”
During the past week, HVO seismometers recorded approximately 69 small-magnitude earthquakes below the summit and upper-elevation flanks of Mauna Loa.
Low rates of deformation in the volcano’s summit region continued through the past week, and the USGS says webcam views have shown no changes to the volcanic landscape. “Concentrations of sulfur dioxide (SO2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and carbon dioxide (CO2), as well as fumarole temperatures, remain stable at both the summit and at Sulphur Cone on the upper Southwest Rift Zone,” the HVO reported.