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Hawaiian Volcano Update: Quakes Small on Kīlauea,& new nonprofit

3:28 AM · Aug 4, 2023

Over the past week, small earthquake flurries continued beneath Kīlauea's summit area, slightly elevating the daily counts to 40 or 50 each day from an average between 20 and 30 over the first three weeks of July. Together with continuing inflation, this suggests the magma is moving and pressuring those areas to some degree, but certainly much less than some weeks we've seen in the build-up to eruptions that reach into many hundreds of quakes per day. Gas emissions are down to a volcanically-low 85 tonnes per day measured today, good news for those downwind who are still impacted by these emissions, the primary volcanic hazard at this time. Kīlauea's south flank still adjusts to the steadily swelling summit, but there are no signs of unusual activity along either rift zone according to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, and thus no increased threat to people. Maunaloa remains quiet on its surface, but its recent deep earthquakes had “a notable increase in deep (over 13km [or 8 mi]) earthquakes beneath and southwest of Mauna Loa's summit caldera” according to the USGS-HVO in their monthly. This remains consistent with ongoing slow inflation “as magma replenishes the summit reservoir system,” and is reminiscent of the 2002-2005 deep earthquakes associated with an intrusion over that time. That sequence started with only 31 events in 2002 before calming, until the 2,000 events from 2004-2005, and ultimately the volcano did not erupt. We will wait to see what's ahead for Maunaloa today, but all signs are that the mountain has been refilling through a healthy magma supply. Our live presentation reviews the recent changes using monitoring data, imagery and reports courtesy of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. We annotate the presentation on-screen and discuss live viewer questions as usual, as well as this week's Volcano Watch article on the follow-up to the American Samoa seismic crisis one year ago. We also announce the creation of our new nonprofit, HVERI, the Hawaiian Volcano Education and Resilience Institute, and discuss its work and future plans (https://hveri.org ). LIVE: https://youtube.com/live/M9JRxrL4o7A

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