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Hawaiian Volcano Update: Kīlauea Quietly Refilling Post-Intrusion

Kīlaueaʻs earthquake counts stayed relatively low over the past week, still concentrated along the trace of recent intrusion into the Southwest Rift and beneath the volcano’s summit. Quakes are also occurring along the presumed magma pathway from Pāhala, 20 miles or 30 km deep far beneath Kīlauea’s southwest flank, seemingly in response to the recent intrusion. However, these deep earthquakes have little short-term effect on surface activity, and might instead be considered a sign of a robust longer-term magma supply. The summit and south caldera area continues to generally inflate as it fill...

Dear Valentine, will you be my lab partner? — USGS Volcano Watch

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) “lavas” working with our partners at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (UHH), and for Valentine’s Day we wanted to highlight some of the things we appreciate about this relationship. Faculty and students in the UHH Geology and Anthropology Departments contribute to both volcano monitoring and research in Hawai‘i. Recently, seismic unrest southwest of Kīlauea’s summit alerted HVO to a new intrusion of magma that occurred over a three-day period. The intrusion resulted in slight changes in ground elevations and new surface cracks along the Maunaiki t...

“Forging a Path with a 12-PoundHammer” | Buffalo Soldiers | Black History Month | HVNP

HAWAII NATIONAL PARK, Hawaiʻi – Most visitors to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park never set foot on Mauna Loa Trail. Even fewer people know the remarkable story of the Black soldiers who in 1915 built a trail between the summit of Kīlauea and the nearly 14,000-foot summit of Mauna Loa volcano. A new video from Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, “Forging a Path with a 12-Pound Hammer,” celebrates Black History Month and the story of the African-American soldiers who built the remote 30-mile trail. Why would these enlisted men, who faced segregation even in racially diverse Hawaiʻi, undergo ...

Hawaiian Volcano Update: Kīlauea’s SW Rift Intrusion Wanes

After last week’s ramping up of earthquakes, seismicity peaked at the end of last week coincident with a massive intrusion around the Koaʻe Fault Zone above Kīlauea’s Southwest Rift Connector, and has since dropped off significantly across the volcano. The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recorded more than 3,000 earthquakes in total during the event, lowering the alert levels from WATCH/ORANGE to ADVISORY/YELLOW on Saturday morning. They report GPS receivers on the Southwest Rift moving laterally up to 8 inches or 20 cm, and upwards up to 20 inches or 50 cm, as their models “suggest an accum...

Another intrusion southwest of Kīlauea’s summit — USGS Volcano Watch

Last week, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists were closely monitoring earthquakes and ground deformation in the region southwest of Kīlauea’s summit. The increased unrest prompted HVO to raise the Alert Level/Aviation Color Code for Kīlauea to WATCH/ORANGE on January 31 as another intrusive event began beneath the surface. Intrusions are when magma breaks rock to create new pathways within the ground. As magma moves beneath the surface into its new space, the ground above it deforms to accommodate the new material. HVO detects intrusions through earthquake locations (which ...

Hawaiian Volcano Update: Strongest Swarm Marks Kīlauea’s Latest SW Rift Intrusion

For most of January, Kīlauea’s earthquakes slowed significantly as magma continued to gather underground, but during the past week the volcano reached a breaking point, starting on January 27th as its south caldera seismicity resumed. This preceded a significant pulse of magma that triggered the largest number of earthquakes in this sequence since its start in October, exceeding 1,500 located events thus far. The big pulse began in the south caldera two nights ago and has migrated down the Southwest Rift Connector about 10 miles to Puʻu Kou on the Southwest Rift thus far. While the situati...

Hawaiian Volcano Update: Kīlauea Earthquakes Slow, Inflation & Intrusion Continue

Over the past week, Kīlauea’s earthquakes slowed significantly as its most recent magma pulse into the south caldera and Southwest Rift was accommodated by the filling of underground cracks and other spaces. Low level seismicity continues in the Upper East Rift Connector adjacent to the Koaʻe Fault Zone, as the intrusion has recently focused uplift in that area as evident through satellite data. Inflation is ongoing around the summit and Southwest Rift as magma continues to likely fill established pathways at a lower rate, without triggering swarms of earthquakes. The potential remains for...

Where is magma stored in Kīlauea? - USGS Volcano Watch

USGS-HVO - Over the past several months, periods of increased earthquake activity and ground deformation in the summit region of Kīlauea volcano indicate that magma is accumulating beneath the surface. Where does magma reside, and how do we know? First, let’s envision what a region of magma storage might look like. The top of an active magma chamber is hot with liquid rock. Deeper in the chamber, it transitions to slightly cooler, partially molten/partially solid, crystal-rich material, and eventually to relatively cold and brittle rock. The amount of magma in a reservoir fluctuates over ti...