(BIVN) – Kīlauea volcano is not erupting. On Saturday, the number of earthquakes increased in the area just south of the summit caldera, ending the January lull in seismic activity. The earthquake swarm continued into Sunday morning.
UPDATE – (10:45 a.m.) – On Sunday, the USGS maintained the Kīlauea Alert Level at ADVISORY, after seismicity picked up in the south caldera region, but remained steady.
From the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory update posted on Sunday morning:
Rates of seismicity in the south caldera area increased yesterday morning, but remained stable through the day. This morning, seismicity is somewhat lower, but a tiltmeter near Sand Hill indicates ongoing inflationary deformation. Periods of increased seismicity can be expected to continue during repressurization of the summit magma reservoir, which has been ongoing since the end of the September 2023 eruption.
Kīlauea’s summit region remains at a high level of inflation. Together with the increase in seismicity yesterday morning, a tiltmeter near Sand Hill indicated an increase in inflationary tilt. The tilt rate has remained steady over the past 24 hours (neither increasing nor decreasing). A tiltmeter near Uēkahuna bluff also responded to yesterday’s events, but to a lesser degree, as this instrument is not as sensitive to south caldera changes.
Scientists with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in recent weeks have been reporting that the Kīlauea summit remains pressurized, despite the low seismicity observed across the volcano. The summit region remains at a high level of inflation.
The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said on Saturday, before the latest swarm began, that “periods of increased seismicity can be expected to continue during repressurization of the summit magma reservoir, which has been ongoing since the end of the September 2023 eruption.”
This story will be updated when the USGS issues its Sunday update on Kīlauea.