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USGS Volcano Notice - DOI-USGS-HVO-2023-12-09T09:49:51-08:00


U.S. Geological Survey
Saturday, December 9, 2023, 8:10 AM HST (Saturday, December 9, 2023, 18:10 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. Slightly elevated seismicity continues in the summit region, 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:  Seismicity in Kīlauea's summit region remains elevated, but the past day saw a slight decline in earthquake rates. Most of the earthquakes were focused in a cluster just southeast of Kaluapele, Kīlauea's summit caldera.

The Uēkahuna summit tiltmeter—located northwest of the caldera—was tracking steady inflation for most of the past day, but there was a quick transition to deflation early this morning. The Sand Hill tiltmeter—located southwest of the caldera—tracked similar trends. Overall, the summit of Kīlauea remains at a high level of inflation; relative tilt is above the level reached prior to the most recent eruption in September 2023, and it is higher than at any time since the 2018 eruption.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas emission rates remain low. Field measurements indicated an SO2 emission rate of approximately 70 tonnes per day on December 5, which was similar to measurements in October and November.

There are currently no signs of an imminent eruption, but the summit region remains unsettled, with a high level of inflation and continued seismic activity. 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:  Seismicity in Kīlauea's upper East Rift Zone remains elevated, but the past day saw a slight decline in earthquake rates. Seismicity in the Southwest Rift Zone also declined during the same period. All of the earthquakes have been of small magnitudes, with most measuring less than M2.0.

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