(BIVN) – With the recent reduction in the number of earthquakes linked to the volcanic unrest in Kīlauea volcano’s Southwest Rift Zone, the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park has reopened a trail in the Kaʻū Desert.
The National Park Service on Thursday announced Maunaiki Trail, from the trailhead near Kulanaokuaiki Campground to the Kaʻū Desert Trail intersection, is now open.
The park temporarily closed the Maunaiki Trail in October due to increased seismicity in the Southwest Rift Zone. However, in recent weeks, this area of Kīlauea has settled down.
Kilauea is not erupting and remains at an alert level of ADVISORY. There is still moderate seismicity in the summit region. “Deep aftershocks, greater than 25 km depth, continue in the region just to the east of Mauna Iki and the Southwest Rift Zone, however, these are unrelated to volcanic activity,” the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory wrote on Thursday.
“Seismicity and deformation in the area southwest of the caldera between the December 1974 vents and the Koʻae fault has diminished significantly over the past month greatly reducing the likelihood of an eruption in this area,” the USGS HVO said.
The National Park Service says the remote and uncrowded seven-mile Maunaiki Trail “traverses the spectacular geological, natural and cultural features of the Kaʻū Desert, including the Twin Pit Craters where koaʻe kea (white-tailed tropicbirds) soar above their nesting sites.”