Hawaiian Volcano Update: Maunaloa Quakes Steady, Kīlauea Slowly Filling, November 3, 2022 – lanikai-beach

Maunaloa earthquakes remain steady, though still elevated above the early September background, as the volcano continues to adjust to the newly infilling magma. We review the available monitoring data and reports available courtesy of the USGS-HVO, including Volcano Watch articles on expected aftershocks after last month’s 5.0 under Pāhala and InSAR measurements of volcanoes and its challenges. While Maunaloa’s Yellow/Advisory alert level has not changed since July 2019, tilt signals indicating shallow magma filling were detected for the first time in March 2021, then in August 2022, and most recently this past September, justifying the increased monitoring, preparation and community outreach. A visual inspection tour of Maunaloa’s summit and upper rifts completes the first segment of our broadcast, before we pause for our first discussion of live viewer questions.

On Kīlauea, visitors continue to enjoy great viewing of the persistent lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu, though still without any bonus ooze-up flows over the past week. Monitoring data continues to show the activity restricted to the summit area and the Upper East Rift Connector within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, still without any increased threat to people. Gas emissions remain the primary hazard for downwind communities, and this week the USGS-HVO shares a video of scientists making gas measurements offering insight into the process, and views of the closed road on the western side of Kaluapele, or Kīlauea caldera, as well as aerials of the eruption. Once again we share lava viewing highlights courtesy of Two Pineapples before considering Kīlauea’s monitoring data.

Unusually, the lava volume within Halemaʻumaʻu crater over the last month has only increased very slightly, suggesting a different dynamic within the volcano perhaps related to the September 20 intrusion and the October 13 Pāhala earthquakes. The result is less lava reaching the crusted lake, but it is still enough to continue filling beneath and uplifting the crater floor. We consider the possible implications, before revisiting the much-asked question of the connection between Kīlauea and Maunaloa volcanos.

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