Magma moving in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park slows, decreasing likelihood of Kīlauea eruption
The likelihood of an eruption at Kīlauea has decreased as the intrusion of magma into the area along the Koa‘e fault system southwest of the summit has slowed.
Additionally, seismicity and ground deformation beneath the summit, extending 5-7 miles southwest of the caldera under the Koa‘e fault zone, continue to lessen. Earthquake counts are holding steady at 1–10 earthquakes per hour; dispersed widely from the summit to the southwest.
Depths of the quakes remain consistent, 0.6-3 miles below the surface, and magnitudes range from a maximum of 3+ to less than 1. In total, approximately 146 earthquakes, have been recorded across this region over the past 24 hours, overall seismic activity is decreasing from a few days ago.
Patterns of earthquakes and ground deformation indicate that magma intruded beneath the south end of the caldera began on the morning of Jan. 27. This activity waxed and waned until Jan. 31, when greatly increased seismicity and tilt indicated a dike was being emplaced, triggering episodic felt earthquakes and rockfalls within Halema‘uma‘u.
The overall decrease in seismicity and deformation suggests that this event is waning. However, renewed episodes of activity remain a possibility and an eruption could occur with little advanced warning. Seismicity in Kīlauea’s upper East Rift Zone and Southwest Rift Zone remained low in the past 24 hours. No unusual activity has been noted along the middle and lower sections of Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas emission rates remain low. Field measurements indicated an SO2 emission rate of approximately 70 tonnes per day, on Jan. 17, which was similar to measurements in October, November, and early December.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to closely monitor Kīlauea volcano and will re-evaluate alert levels and notices as activity warrants.