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Hawaiian Volcano Update: Kīlauea's Heightened Unrest Continues

3:02 AM · Jun 2, 2023

Another week of heightened unrest passes on Kīlauea without an eruption, as earthquake flurries continue to occur in cycles beneath the summit region. An eruption is still “possible with little to no warning” as the volcano continues to inflate with magma accumulating within, exhibiting conditions exceeding the build-up to the most recent summit eruption on January 5, 2023. Within Kīlauea’s summit region, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has reported high but variable rates of earthquakes. Over the last week, daily counts in that area were 60, 90, 120, 80, 70, 93 and 58 events (today). Across the whole volcano, earthquake rates are about 3 times higher today than they were a month ago. Digging a little deeper in the earthquake data, different clusters can be seen in the area of the magma and in its surroundings. In particular, the Namakanipaio cluster can be seen to be offset deeper from the other summit events. The shallowest earthquakes appear to be directly beneath Kīlauea’s summit caldera. Continuing the mantra, only time will tell when this build-up will lead to a new intrusion, eruption, or resumption of the previous activity, but all the signals remain at the summit. There is no sign of anything unusual in either of the volcano's rift zones, and thus no increased threat to people. Gas emissions continue at volcanic background levels and remain the primary threat to nearby residents. Maunaloa remains quiet as magma continues the normal process of refilling its summit reservoir, with no further changes to report. As usual, our live presentation reviews the recent changes using monitoring data and reports courtesy of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. We annotate the presentation on-screen, and discuss live viewer questions.

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