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Hawaiian Volcano Update: Kīlauea's Summit Pressurizes To South

2:59 AM · Sep 8, 2023

September 7, 2023 - For another successive week, Kīlauea swelled in its summit area south of the main caldera within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, a slight shift from its common inflation center under Halemaʻumaʻu crater and its recent lava lakes. There is no significant change on the Southwest Rift or East Rift, 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. Earthquake rates continue to vary on a daily basis, occasionally swarming in the summit region, but are still elevated with an average over 150 events per day across the whole volcano. Around the summit, quake locations remain focused south of the main caldera, still corresponding to the nexus of inflation suggested by the Sand Hill tiltmeter. Inflation under Halemaʻumaʻu also appears to be ongoing, though at a slower pace. As a reminder, this continues the recent parallel to November 2020 and August 2021, which experienced 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. If and when an eruption does occur, gas emissions can be expected to spike dramatically for the first few days, decreasing exponentially thereafter — thus individuals may benefit most from vog preparedness in those first few days. Maunaloa continues to show no significant change from the expected pattern following its 2022 eruption, refilling its large magma reservoirs and issuing sporadic deep earthquakes from its feeder conduits. 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. #Kilauea #Kilauea2023 #Maunaloa

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