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USGS Volcano Notice - DOI-USGS-HVO-2023-12-06T10:13:20-08:00


U.S. Geological Survey
Wednesday, December 6, 2023, 9:07 AM HST (Wednesday, December 6, 2023, 19:07 UTC)

KILAUEA (VNUM #332010)
19°25'16" N 155°17'13" W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW

Activity Summary:  Kīlauea volcano is not erupting. Low levels of seismicity continue in the summit, upper East Rift Zone, and Southwest Rift Zone. Unrest may continue to wax and wane with fluctuating input of magma to the area, and eruptive activity could occur in the near future with little or no warning. No unusual activity has been noted along the middle and lower sections of Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone. 

Summit Observations:  Summit seismicity has been relatively low since a small earthquake swarm early on December 2, with no significant changes over the past day.

The Uēkahuna summit tiltmeter, located northwest of the caldera, has tracked steady inflationary tilt since early on December 4. The Sand Hill tiltmeter, located southwest of the caldera, has tracked a similar pattern during this period. Overall, the summit of Kīlauea remains at a high level of inflation—above the level reached prior to the most recent eruption in September 2023, and the highest level since the 2018 eruption.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas emission rates remain low. Field measurements indicated an SO2 emission rate of approximately 100 tonnes per day on November 17, which was similar to a month prior.

There are currently no signs of an imminent eruption, but the summit region remains unsettled, with a high level of inflation and seismic activity continuing at low levels. The onsets of previous summit eruptions have been marked by strong swarms of earthquakes caused by the emplacement of a dike 1–2 hours before the appearance of lava, and these swarms are not being detected at this time.

The HVO information statement released on October 23, 2023, provides additional information and context related to recent unrest at Kīlauea's summit: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hans2/view/notice/DOI-USGS-HVO-2023-10-23T22:33:18-07:00

A map summarizing recent unrest southwest of Kilauea’s summit (activity beginning October 4, 2023) can be found here: https://www.usgs.gov/maps/november-5-2023-summary-map-intrusive-activity-kilauea-volcano

Rift Zone Observations:  Small earthquakes (all less than M2.0) have continued to occur at a slightly reduced rate in the upper East Rift Zone since a small swarm early on December 2, with steady activity over the past day. Earthquakes continue in the Southwest Rift Zone as well, but at a diminished rate compared to a few weeks ago.

We continue to closely monitor both rift zones, especially near the summit. No unusual activity has been noted along the middle and lower East Rift Zones. 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.

Hazard Analysis:  Levels of volcanic gases (sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide) can remain locally hazardous even when Kīlauea is not erupting. Local concentrations of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and/or hydrogen sulfide (H2S) may persist in downwind areas, and residents may notice odors of these gases occasionally. Significant hazards also remain around Halemaʻumaʻu from crater wall instability, ground cracking, and rockfalls that can be enhanced by earthquakes within the area closed to the public. For discussion of Kīlauea hazards, please see: https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hawaiian-volcano-observatory/hazards.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) continues to closely monitor Kīlauea volcano.

Next Notice: HVO will issue daily Kīlauea updates. Additional messages will be issued as needed.

More Information:

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



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Summary of volcanic hazards from eruptions: https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/hazards
Recent earthquakes in Hawaiʻi (map and list): https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo
Explanation of Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes: https://www.usgs.gov/programs/VHP/volcanic-alert-levels-characterize-conditions-us-volcanoes