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Earthquakes shake Kilauea’s East Rift Zone


  • COURTESY HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
    A webcamera image taken Saturday morning shows the lava lake at Halemaumau Crater spattering. The lava level was near the rim or overflowing Friday into Saturday.
  • Courtesy Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
    A portion of the Halemaumau Crater wall collapsed Sunday
  • but just out of view. Large pieces of molten spatter can be seen flying through the air and being deposited on the crater walls below the camera.
  • USGS / HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
    A sequence of still images taken from the webcam positioned at the Halemaumau overlook, spanning about six seconds, shows Sunday's explosion at the lava lake. A rock collapse originated from a portion of the wall directly below the webcam, but just out of view. Large pieces of molten spatter can be seen flying through the air and being deposited on the crater walls below the camera.
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Three earthquakes of magnitude 2.6 or higher were recorded in Kilauea’s East Rift Zone Monday morning, as Kilauea’s summit continues to experience a period of slight inflation and the lava lake in Halemaumau Crater remained close to its rim, but did not spill over in the past day.

The biggest earthquake, estimated at magnitude 3.6, struck at 4:42 a.m. about 2 miles south southwest of Volcano in Kilauea’s East Rift Zone at a depth of about 1.9 miles and was felt in Volcano and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

No damage or injuries were reported.

It was followed by two more earthquakes in about the same area of magnitude 2.9 at about 4:49 a.m. and magnitude 2.6 earthquake at about 9:31 a.m. 

Scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said that the area around Kilauea is experiencing increased seismicity that may be an indication of lava moving underground.

Scientists are closely monitoring activity at Kilauea as the lava lake in Halemaumau Crater remained visible and close to its rim on the floor of the crater.

On Sunday at 1:20 p.m., a collapse of a portion of the wall at Halemaumau Crater hit the lake and triggered a small explosive event.

Visitors have been flocking to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to see the lava lake, the first time lava has been visible in the crater since 1974.

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