Kilauea volcano. USGS photo

HAWAI’I — A swarm of earthquake activity has prompted the US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory to raise the volcano alert level for Kīlauea from and advisory to a watch.

(View all USGS Kilauea webcams HERE.)

Kīlauea Caldera – East Wide Angle refresh page to update image

The change at the volcano on the big island of Hawai’i is due to earthquake activity in Kīlauea’s south caldera region.

The volcano is not currently erupting, according the the USGS, but a swarm of earthquakes beneath the south part of Kīlauea caldera, within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, began on the evening of August 23, 2021.

The swarm continued into the early morning hours of August 24 with a particularly strong sequence of earthquakes that occurred at about 1:30 a.m., HST.

The onset of the earthquake swarm coincided with a change in the style of ground deformation at tiltmeters in the Kīlauea summit region, potentially indicating the shallow movement of magma beneath the south part of Kīlauea caldera.

Over 100 earthquakes had been recorded by 2:30 am on August 24; the largest recorded earthquake was magnitude 3.3 with the majority of earthquakes less than magnitude 1. Small earthquakes are continuing at a rate of at least 10 detected earthquakes per hour.

Currently, webcams show no evidence of lava at the surface.

HVO scientists will continue the monitor the situation and will issue additional messages and alert level changes as warranted by changing activity.