(BIVN) – Scientists monitoring Kilauea volcano on Hawaiʻi island issued an unscheduled update on Thursday morning, reporting elevated unrest has been detected just south of Kīlauea’s summit. The volcano is not erupting.
The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has been issuing updates once per week since the previous eruption ended on September 16. With the reported uptick in inflationary tilt and earthquake rates, the scientists say they “will issue daily Kīlauea updates from today onward, as long as the elevated activity continues.”
From the Thursday morning USGS HVO update:
Summit Observations: Rates of inflationary tilt increased two days ago in the area just south of the summit caldera. Earthquake rates beneath Kīlauea summit region have increased overnight from less than 10 earthquakes per day to over 140 earthquakes in the last 24 hours. Most of the earthquakes are occurring in a region south of the caldera at depths of around 2.5–3.5 km (1.5–2 mi) below the surface. The trend of the seismic activity parallels, but is slightly south of the December 1974 eruption vents. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates remain low and were measured at a rate of about 150 tonnes per day on September 25.
Rift Zone Observations: No unusual activity has been noted along the East Rift Zone or Southwest Rift Zone; steady rates of ground deformation and seismicity continue along both. 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.
The USGS Kīlauea Volcano Alert Level remains at ADVISORY/YELLOW.