Kilauea’s Southwest Rift Heading Towards Eruption?

FOR THE LAST few weeks, we were all watching the overflowing lava lake at the summit caldera of Kilauea. Last week, the lava lake levels dropped precipitously, ending the lava flows that were repaving the pit crater floor. That could have been the end of the activity, but over the past few days, an earthquake swarm has been rumbling at the Hawaiian volcano. Most of the earlier earthquakes where under the main summit and the active East Rift Zone (ERZ), where lava flows are common today (and is the home of the Pu’u O’o crater vent). These new earthquakes are now focussed mainly under the southern part of the volcano’s summit and the quiet Southwest Rift Zone (SWRZ).

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