Categorized | Earthquake, Featured, News

Magnitude 4.8 earthquake South of Kilauea Volcano’s summit

Seismic activity recorded by the USGS/HVO Sunday, August 11, 2013 with labels added by Hawaii 24/7 staff. Recording is left to right, top to bottom in chronological order.

Seismic activity recorded by the USGS/HVO Sunday, August 11, 2013 with labels added by Hawaii 24/7 staff. Recording is left to right, top to bottom in chronological order.

Audio waveform and MP3 audio of 4.8M earthquake recorded by Hawaii 24/7. Click on image above to listen to MP3 recording.

Audio waveform and MP3 audio of 4.8M earthquake recorded by Hawaii 24/7. Click on image above to listen to MP3 recording.

MEDIA RELEASE

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The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded a magnitude 4.8 earthquake beneath the Island of Hawai`i on Sunday, August 11, 2013, at 5:54 a.m., HST. It was followed by several aftershocks, the largest of which was a magnitude 3.4 earthquake at 6:06 a.m.

The earthquakes were located 8 km (5 mi) south of the summit of Kilauea Volcano, almost directly below the Kulanaokuaiki campground within Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, at a depth of about 32 km (20 mi). A map showing the location of the earthquakes is posted on the HVO website at hvo.wr.usgs.gov/seismic/volcwe….

According to Wes Thelen, HVO’s Seismic Network Manager, “These earthquakes were most likely structural adjustments of the Earth’s crust due to the weight of the island on the underlying mantle. The earthquake likely occurred on a near-horizontal fault plane in the mantle, which has hosted earthquakes in this region before. Despite their location near Kilauea’s summit, it’s unlikely that the earthquakes were volcanic in nature due to their depth, which is below, and offset from, the volcano’s known magma plumbing system.”

HVO Scientist-in-Charge Jim Kauahikaua added that the earthquakes had no apparent effect on Kilauea’s ongoing eruptions. “HVO monitoring networks have not detected any significant changes in activity at the summits or rift zones of Kilauea or other Hawaiian volcanoes.”

The magnitude 4.8 earthquake was felt throughout the Island of Hawai`i, as well as on parts of Maui and O`ahu. The USGS “Did you feel it?” Web site (earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/d…) received almost 400 felt reports within the first hour of the earthquake.

Kauahikaua said the larger event is only the second earthquake with a magnitude greater than 4 to occur at this location and depth since the start of Kilauea’s ongoing East Rift Zone eruption in 1983. The first one occurred on February 17, 2000. There were six such earthquakes in the 20 years before Kilauea’s ongoing East Rift Zone eruption began.

For information on recent earthquakes in Hawai`i and eruption updates, visit the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website at hvo.wr.usgs.gov.

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