(BIVN) – Kilauea is not erupting, and the alert level remains at ADVISORY.
Low-level seismicity continues in the summit region, upper East Rift Zone, and Southwest Rift Zone, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported on Tuesday.
Activity in the Southwest Rift Zone remains focused around Puʻukou in the middle section of the rift zone, scientists say. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park maintains a closure at Mauna Iki Trail due to volcanic unrest in the Southwest RZ.
From the USGS HVO update on Tuesday, December 19:
Summit Observations: Over the past day, there has been a slight decline in seismicity across all depths in Kīlauea’s summit region; this includes the deeper range of 7–9 mi (11–15 km) below ground level, where there had been renewed earthquake activity for several days prior. All summit earthquakes in the past day have had magnitudes below M2.0. Cycles of rising and falling seismic activity can be expected to continue during repressurization of the summit magma reservoir, which has been ongoing since the end of the September eruption. Seismicity has not reached the levels that immediately preceded recent summit eruptions at Kīlauea.
Tiltmeters tracked no significant inflation or deflation of the summit from December 15 through early this morning, then in the past couple hours there has been a return of moderate inflationary tilt. Overall, Kīlauea’s summit region still remains at a high level of inflation; relative tilt is above the level reached prior to the most recent eruption in September 2023, and it is higher than at any time since the 2018 eruption.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas emission rates remain low. Field measurements indicated an SO2 emission rate of approximately 70 tonnes per day on December 5, which was similar to measurements in October and November.
There are currently no signs of an imminent eruption at Kīlauea, but the volcano’s summit region remains unsettled, with a high level of inflation and continued seismic activity. The onsets of previous summit eruptions have been marked by strong swarms of earthquakes caused by magma moving towards the surface 1–2 hours before the appearance of lava. This type of earthquake activity is not being detected at this time.