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Hawaiian Volcano Update: Kīlauea Inflation Shifts South

2:46 AM · Sep 1, 2023

Near Kīlauea's caldera within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, the volcano's center of inflation appeared to shift slightly south towards the Southwest Rift Connector over the past week. There is no significant change elsewhere on the Southwest Rift or anywhere along Kīlauea's East Rift Zone, and thus no increased threat to people and communities. The volcano continues to be “increasingly pressurized”, with a summit eruption in the not-so-distant future a distinct possibility. Daily earthquake counts stabilized at a high rate early in the week, coincident with a slowdown in the pace of ground-tilt from the direction of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. However, the Sand Hill tiltmeter has continued to register inflation from the direction of south caldera, suggesting an ongoing intrusion of magma in that area while the reservoir below Halemaʻumaʻu holds steady. This continues the recent pattern and parallels to November 2020 and August 2021, which exhibited south caldera intrusions roughly one month prior to eruptions in Halemaʻumaʻu. Gas emissions are still low for the volcano, around 75 tonnes per day, but still sufficient to impact nearby downwind communities as the primary volcanic hazard at this time. Maunaloa continues to show no significant change from the expected pattern following its 2022 eruption, refilling its large magma reservoirs. As usual, 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 we go.