According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has recorded over 100 earthquakes since early Wednesday morning on the Big Island.
The flurry began around 1:17 a.m. Wednesday, with most of the quakes about 3 miles north by northwest of Kilauea volcano's summit in the Hawaii Volcano National Park.
The largest of the quakes were recorded Thursday night and Friday morning. A 4.1 magnitude quake struck at 9:02 p.m. Thursday and a 4.3 magnitude quake struck at 3:52 a.m. Friday. Residents across the Big Island recorded feeling the quakes, with about 134 witness reports submitted to the USGS.
The effects of the early morning magnitude-4.3 earthquake were evident at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory building, which is located less than 2.5 miles from the swarm?s center. HVO staff noticed that a few books and other items had fallen off shelves and some small ceiling fixtures were dislodged. Several residents of the Volcano Golf Course subdivision, located about 2 miles from the earthquake epicenter, reported similar shelf damage.
According to Jim Kauahikaua, HVO?s Scientist-in-Charge, it?s likely that this high rate of seismicity could continue in this area for several days. He added that the earthquake swarm has not caused any obvious changes in Kilauea?s magma plumbing system or ongoing eruptions, but that the magnitude-4.3 earthquake did cause a small rockfall in the active vent located within Halema?uma?u Crater at the summit of Kilauea.
As of Friday morning, the seismic swarm has also included 3 earthquakes with magnitudes between 3.0 and 3.9, and 25 earthquakes with magnitudes of 2.0 to 2.9. The magnitudes of another 88 located earthquakes are between 1.0 and 1.9.
The earthquake swarm is located at the north end of the Ka?oiki Pali, near the boundary between Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes. This area has experienced previous seismic swarms in 1990, 1993, 1997, and 2006, each of which lasted from 1 day to several weeks.