Posted by: Anna Webb | January 18, 2010

Big Island Seismic Activity at a Low Point

The seismic activity on Hawaii’s Big Island is at a low point. There are now 21 earthquakes showing on the USGS two-week earthquake map. The majority of the 21 earthquakes on the map are concentrated in the Kilauea area, one on Mauna Kea, four on the north/northeast side and two on the west side, one of which is out in the ocean area off Kauaihae.

Activity can pick up at any time, however. During the time, for example, of the beginning of activity at the Halema’uma’u crater and increase of activity within the Pu’u’O’o vent there was upwards of 125-140 earthquakes showing on the map. That has gradually decreased over a nearly two-year period and we are seeing an “ebb” of quakes.

Currently, there is no flow into the ocean from the Pu’u’O’o vent and no steam plume has been observed for several days now. As we know, it will not stay that way for long and it’s just a matter of time before the lava finds another outlet.

The beauty of the volcanic activity on Hawaii’s Big Island is its consistent flow releasing pressure and not creating a build-up for dramatic release. I will stress again that it is just a matter of time before the ebb surrenders to the flow and it begins its active upward climb.

Hawaii USGS Earthquake Map


  1. I just felt two small ones today. Civil Defense e-mail update said it was in the Kahala area.

  2. Yes, I see that! A 3.8 in Pahala at 1:01pm. Interesting – I didn’t feel it here. The energy release must’ve come up Hilo way.



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