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Volcano Awareness Month 2022 Seismology Update — 2021: A year of earthquake activity on the Island of Hawai‘i

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The last year has been a busy one for seismologists at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Earthquake activity at Kīlauea summit has varied over the past year, with upticks in a variety of seismic signals providing clues to the start of the December 2020 and September 2021 Kīlauea summit eruptions. Currently observed seismic signals at Kilauea are related to ongoing eruptive activity at the summit. In the Pāhala region, swarms of deep (30–40 km or 19–25 mi) earthquakes continue to occur with high frequency and, at times, higher magnitudes. Springtime yielded an increase in the frequency of earthquakes immediately west of Mauna Loa’s summit and along the volcano’s Southwest Rift Zone. However, since that time, earthquake activity at Mauna Loa has decreased.

Join USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geophysicist Ninfa Bennington as she summarizes the earthquake activity on the Island of Hawai‘i over the past year in this Volcano Awareness Month talk presented on January 11, 2021. Volcano Awareness Month is spearheaded by the USGS–Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, in cooperation with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency, and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, and provides informative and engaging public programs about the science and hazards of Hawaiian volcanoes. Map caption: wo weeks of earthquake activity preceding the September 29, 2021, eruption at Kīlauea summit. The regions of interest indicated on the map include: KS (Kīlauea summit); ML (Mauna Loa summit); P (Pāhala).




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