Maui News

Pause in eruptive activity continues at Kīlauea despite earthquake swarm

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Halemaʻumaʻu crater and lava lake from the down-dropped block [B1cam]. PC: USGS/HVO

Geophysical signals recorded by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory indicate that a magmatic intrusion occurred beneath the summit of Kīlauea between approximately 11 a.m and 12 p.m. HST on Saturday, March 11, 2023.

As of 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, seismicity had returned to background levels, ground deformation had stabilized, and no lava had been observed at the surface.

“Resumption of eruptive activity at Kīlauea summit no longer appears to be imminent, although it is possible that another intrusion or resumption may occur in the near future with little or no warning,” according to an update from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. 


The HVO reports a shallow earthquake swarm was detected beneath the summit of Kīlauea Volcano between 10:30 and 11 a.m. HST on March 11, 2023. The swarm was followed by a Magnitude-3.4 earthquake located 4 km SW of Volcano, Hawaiʻi, at a depth of approximately 1 km (0.6 miles) at 11:50 a.m HST. This earthquake was felt locally and triggered a rockfall near Uēaloha (Byron Ledge) in Hawai’I Volcanoes National Park, according to the HVO. Seismicity diminished at approximately 12 p.m. HST and has since returned to background levels, according to an HVO update.

HVO tiltmeters have been recording an inflationary signal at Kīlauea summit since March 7, indicating that magma has been accumulating beneath the surface. The HVO reports that tilt excursions also coincided with Saturday morning’s earthquake swarm. Summit tilt had stabilized since approximately 12 p.m. HST Saturday, although slow inflation continued. 

The pause in eruptive activity that began approximately five days earlier continues and Kīlauea remains at Alert Level WATCH and Aviation Code ORANGE.  


No unusual activity has been noted along the East Rift Zone or Southwest Rift Zone.  

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


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