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Hawaiian Volcano Update: Maunaloa Inflates Quietly, Kīlauea Eruption Slows

3:02 AM · Oct 27, 2022

Earthquakes on Maunaloa have quieted down considerably, with only occasional events continuing the pattern of the past month. A magnitude 2.9 on Sunday, October 23 occurred 2.5 miles, or 4 km, under the volcano's summit and “caused a small step excursion in the data stream at MOK tiltmeter” according to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Since Friday, October 21, earthquake counts under the summit appear to have returned to the background level of 10 to 20 per day from early September. Otherwise, monitoring data suggest continued filling of the magmatic system inside the mountain, but building less pressure than last month as indicated by the reduction in quakes. We review the available monitoring data and reports available courtesy of the USGS-HVO, including long-term trends presented at last week's community meeting in Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, and add on a discussion of earthquake hazards in that area. On Kīlauea, good lava viewing continues without any increased threat to people, gas emissions are trending downwards, and the volcano's summit has been deflating over the past week. Lava continues to circulate through the persistent lake, and the west vent and pond glow at night, but additional ooze-up flows remain lacking. Vog remains the primary hazard of the eruption, though has recently somewhat improved. Deflation-inflation cycles of ground tilt have dominated the monitoring signals in the short term, resulting in little net gain in lava depth. All recent activity has been confined to the crater, and according to USGS-HVO no unusual activity has been noted in either rift zone. However, it has been normal to see signals from the Upper East Rift Connector, and this week extra seismicity was evident in the vicinity of Kīlauea Iki. As usual we pause for discussions of live viewer questions and share lava viewing highlights of the erupting volcano.

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