Maui News

Shallow earthquake swarm detected beneath Kīlauea summit

Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

Halemaʻumaʻu, lava lake, and down-dropped block [KWcam]. PC: USGS March 11, 2023,

A shallow earthquake swarm has been detected beneath the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, accompanied by significant surface tilt excursion, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

HVO scientists say resumption of eruptive activity at Kīlauea summit is likely imminent.

An inflationary tilt signal at the summit that began on March 7 continued over the past 24 hours. A few features on the crater floor are still glowing slightly in overnight webcam views, but these are not erupting lava. A live-stream video of the inactive western lava lake area is available online.


HVO scientists say it is possible that eruptive activity at the surface may resume if this inflationary trend continues. Volcanic tremor remained slightly elevated but near background levels this morning.

The current Volcano Alert Level is WATCH; and the current Aviation Color Code is ORANGE.

During a Kīlauea summit morning monitoring overflight on Feb. 2, 2023, HVO scientists documented activity in the ongoing Halema‘uma‘u eruption, shown in this photo looking to the SW. Mauna Loa is visible in the background. USGS image by K. Lynn

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to monitor Hawaiian volcanoes for any changes.


The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is one of five volcano observatories within the US Geological Survey and is responsible for monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes in Hawaiʻi and American Samoa.

Eruption Chronology (via USGS/HVO)

  • September 29, 2021, 3:21 p.m. HST: Eruption begins as a series of fissure vents to the east of the large island that formed in the December 2020-May 2021 lava lake.
  • September 29, 2021, 4:43 p.m. HST: Another vent opens in the west wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater
  • October 4, 2021: Activity becomes focused at two vents: one in the western wall of Halemaʻumaʻu and one in the south central portion of the lava lake
  • October 6, 2021: Eastern portion of lava lake begins to stagnate and form a crust
  • October 7, 2021: Activity becomes focused at single vent on the western wall of Halemaʻumaʻu
  • November 16, 2021: Lava begins to flow onto the lowest exposed down-dropped block of caldera floor that collapsed in 2018, northeast of Halemaʻumaʻu.
  • December 2021 – March 2022: Eruption pauses 24 times, over time periods ranging from approximately two hours to nearly two days. During each pause, the active lava lake surface would drop.
  • Late January 2022: Spatter cones appear on the solidified surface of eastern portion of the crater floor.
  • December 9, 2022: Lava supply to the Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake ceases and the eruption ends. 
  • January 5, 2023. 4:34 p.m. HST: Eruption in Halemaʻumaʻu begins, with vent activity focused in the east (vs previously the west) part of the crater floor. 

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments