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Swarm of Earthquakes Detected Beneath Kīlauea Summit Caldera

August 24, 2021, 6:30 AM HST
* Updated August 24, 6:21 AM
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An increase in earthquake activity has been detected beneath the south part of Kīlauea summit caldera, within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.

Kīlauea volcano is not erupting. However, scientists attribute the swarm of earthquakes to a small dike intrusion of magma occurring 1–2 km (0.6-1.2 miles) beneath the south caldera.

According to the US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, activity began around 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 23 and continued through the night and into this morning. At about 1:30 a.m., HVO reported, the swarm of earthquakes intensified in the region and was accompanied by an increase in the rate of ground deformation recorded by the Sandhill tiltmeter, just to the west of the earthquake swarm location.

“Over 100 earthquakes have been recorded as of 2:30 a.m. on August 24; the largest recorded earthquake was magnitude 3.3 with the majority of earthquakes less than magnitude 1,” HVO stated. “Small earthquakes are continuing at a rate of at least 10 detected earthquakes per hour.”

Currently, webcams show no evidence of lava at the surface.

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HVO scientists will continue the monitor the situation and will issue additional messages and alert level changes as warranted by changing activity.

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For information on recent earthquakes in Hawaiʻi, visit the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website at https://www.usgs.gov/hvo.

For additional information, click on the following links below. Kīlauea activity summary also available by phone at 808-967-8862.

Kīlauea webcam images: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/webcams
Kīlauea photos/video: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/photo-video-chronology
Kīlauea lava-flow maps: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/maps
Kīlauea FAQs: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/faqs

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