Magma continues to move just below the surface southwest of Kīlauea caldera
Kīlauea is not erupting, however, seismicity along the Koa‘e fault system southwest of the summit continues to be elevated as magma remains active just below the surface.
Based on past historical activity, this event is much more likely to continue as an intrusion, but there is still a possibility of it ending in an eruption, according to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Periods of increased earthquake activity and rates of ground deformation can be expected to continue in this region.
Kīlauea volcano alert level and aviation color code remain at WATCH/ORANGE as the situation remains dynamic.
As of this morning, seismicity 5-7 miles southwest of the caldera, in the vicinity of Pu‘ukoa‘e, continues at rates of 20-35 locatable earthquakes per hour. Earthquakes in the summit caldera region continue at lower rates of less than 10 per hour.
Depths have remained consistent, less than a mile to 2 1/2 miles below the surface, and magnitudes range a maximum of 2+ to less than 1. In total, 63 earthquakes have been recorded in the caldera region over the past 24 hours and 504 have been recorded along the Koa‘e fault system.
Over the past day, tiltmeters near Sand Hill and Uēkahuna Bluff recorded an additional 40 microradians of change consistent with deflation as magma moves into the region southwest (in the direction of where earthquakes are occurring). However, since about midnight, the rates of change have decreased.
Patterns of earthquakes and ground deformation continue to indicate that magma is moving beneath the surface southwest of the summit along the Ko’ae fault zone. The Koa‘e fault system, which appears as low cliffs, or “scarps” on the surface, connects Kīlauea’s East and Southwest Rift Zones south of the caldera.
Global Positioning System instruments have recorded up to 8 inches of motion at stations around the SWRZ, consistent with magma moving into a dike-like body in the region. A dike is a tabular body of magma in older existing rock.
No unusual activity has been noted along the middle and lower sections of Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone. Measurements from continuous gas monitoring stations downwind of Puʻuʻōʻō in the middle East Rift Zone—the site of 1983–2018 eruptive activity—have been below detection limits for SO2, indicating that SO2 emissions from Puʻuʻōʻō are negligible.
For information on Kīlauea hazards, see https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hawaiian-volcano-observatory/hazards.