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Hawaiian Volcano Update: Kīlauea Quakes Slower, 100-yr Explosive Eruption Anniversary

3:02 AM · May 17, 2024

Kīlauea continued to quake over the last week, but at slower rates than the previous two weeks, while the volcano’s ground surface continued to show inflation, also at a slower rate. Earthquakes remain clustered in the south caldera and Upper East Rift Connector areas, continuing this month’s trend. There continues to be no increased hazard to people, with volcanic gas emissions still the main current threat to residents and visitors between eruptions. Gas measurements remain relatively low around 60 tonnes of SO2 per day, still of concern for sensitive individuals nearby. Maunaloa continues to recharge following its 2022 eruption, overall remaining quiet with few earthquakes and sustained slow inflation. As a special bonus this week to mark its 100-year anniversary, we show video releases and compile a slideshow of restored and colorized historic photographs of the famous Kīlauea explosive eruption of 1924. This is augmented by excerpts from this week’s After Dark in the Park at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes commemorating the centennial event, presented by USGS-HVO’s Ben Gaddis and Don Swanson. Swanson’s segment delves into the mechanisms for the explosions, with theory evolving from purely steam-driven to now include small amounts of fresh magma erupted in 1924, and comparing that sequence to 2018. Gaddis’s presentation recounts the human experience of the eruption, showing many of the same images for which we present colorized versions. As usual, we review the monitoring signals, imagery, and reports available courtesy of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, annotating the presentation on screen as we go and discussing live viewer questions.

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