Hawai'i Volcano Blog

About 230 earthquakes rattle Kīlauea with renewed uptick in unrest

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Pele continues to stir at the Big Island’s Kīlauea volcano after becoming restless again after it looked like she might settle back down during the weekend.

The napping Hawaiian volcano goddess has started tossing and turning even more since Monday, but it hasn’t roused her from sleep. At least not yet.

This image, from a research camera on the bluff at Uēkahuna overlooking the summit caldera of Kīlauea, was captured just after 11 a.m. May 7.

The volcano is not erupting. It is, however, experiencing another uptick in unrest — whether brief or something more significant is unknown — with a large increase in seismic activity since Monday morning.

About 230 earthquakes rattled Kīlauea from Monday to Tuesday morning. That’s more than three times the 70 quakes recorded between Sunday and Monday and nearly 13 times more than the 18 earthquakes from May 4-5.

More than 1,600 earthquakes shook Kīlauea between April 27 and May 3, with more than 350 per day at the peak of that most recent period of heightened unrest.

About 140 of the temblors from Monday to Tuesday morning were located in the upper East Rift Zone, from Keanakākoʻi crater to the intersection with Hilina Pali Road. The other 90 were located in the caldera south of Halemaʻumaʻu.


Quake depths have averaged between 1.2 and 3.1 miles beneath the surface. Magnitudes have been mostly below 2, with a few magnitude-2.5 events.

All seismic activity in the East Rift Zone is confined to the upper East Rift Zone, with no significant earthquakes recorded past the Pauahi Crater. Unrest in the Southwest Rift Zone remains relatively low outside of the summit region.

Ground deformation also continues beneath Halemaʻumaʻu and the south side of Kalaupele (Kīlauea caldera) and Keanakākoʻi crater.

The Uēkahuna tiltmeter continues to record steady inflation beneath Halemaʻumaʻu that began early the morning of May 4. The tiltmeter at Sandhill continues to record accelerated uplift in the south caldera region at rates similar to those before and during last week’s seismic unrest.

Magma continues to pressurize the system beneath Halemaʻumaʻu and the south side of Kalaupele and Keanakākoʻi crater, causing seismicity along faults in the upper East Rift Zone.


The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory cannot say whether this new increase in activity will lead to an intrusion or eruption in the near future or simply continue as seismic unrest at depth.

Changes in the character and location of unrest can happen quickly. An eruption is not imminent, but conditions could change rapidly.

This image, from a temporary research camera positioned near Maunaulu, looking northwest toward the upper East Rift Zone of Kīlauea, was captured the morning of May 7.

Kīlauea’s volcano alert level is at advisory. It’s aviation color code is yellow.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will provide daily updates while the volcano is in a heightened state of unrest.

The spike in activity comes as the Big Island marks 6 years since the 2018 Lower East Rift Zone eruption of Kīlauea.


The historic and devastating eruption started May 3, 2018, and covered more than 8,700 acres of lower Puna with lava and created 875 acres of new land before it ended in September that year.

The 2018 eruption also affected Kīlauea’s summit area, which is inside Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The lava lake drained and the summit collapsed incrementally, documented by more than 60,000 earthquakes. The caldera deepened by more than 1,600 feet.

Since 2018, there have been many more changes at the volcano’s summit. In the year after the 2018 collapse, a water lake began to rise from the bottom. It evaporated in about 90 minutes when an eruption started the night of Dec. 20, 2020, in Halemaʻumaʻu crater.

That eruption was the first of several that have slowly refilled the caldera following its collapse in 2018. The most recent was from Sept. 10-16, 2023.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to closely monitor Kīlauea. Should significant changes happen, a volcanic activity notice will be issued.  

For discussion about Kīlauea hazards, click here. To find frequently asked questions about the volcano, click here.

Contact the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory via email at [email protected].

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park visitor information can be found here.

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