(BIVN) – After a period relative quiet and low seismicity at the summit of Kīlauea volcano, scientists observed an uptick in earthquakes on Friday.
While the unrest associated with the early October magma intrusion southwest of Kīlauea’s summit has diminished over the past week, a minor swarm of seismicity immediately south of Kīlauea’s caldera began Friday morning. The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says it is monitoring the latest activity.
Kīlauea is not erupting and the USGS Alert Level remains at ADVISORY.
From the November 10th update from the USGS HVO:
Summit Observations: Unrest around the summit area of Kīlauea has increased over the past 24 hours. In the previous 24 hour reporting period, no earthquakes were located at Kīlauea’s summit. However, at 12am HST, seismicity resumed, and beginning at 5am HST, a small swarm of earthquake activity occurred at Kīlauea’s summit (20 earthquakes between 5 and 7am HST). These earthquakes were primarily located immediately south of Halemaʻumaʻu mostly within Kīlauea’s caldera. HVO continues to monitor this seismic activity.
The Uēkahuna summit tiltmeter, located northwest of the caldera, shows slight deflation over the last 24 hours. However, the Sand Hill tiltmeter, located southwest of the caldera, shows an increase in uplift rates over the last 24 hours suggesting inflation of a source south of Halemaʻumaʻu. Overall, the summit of Kīlauea remains at a high level of inflation, above the level reached prior to the most recent eruption in September 2023.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates remain low and were measured at a rate of about 100 tonnes per day on October 19, 2023.
There is currently no sign of an imminent eruption, but eruptive activity is possible in the coming weeks or months. Increased inflation and earthquake activity (heightened unrest) are expected to precede an eruption. The onsets of previous summit eruptions have been marked by strong swarms of earthquakes caused by the emplacement of a dike 1-2 hours before eruptions.