Pu’u O’o Experiencing Slow Slip Event

The latest USGS Kilauea update mentioned in it’s Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: that “a swarm of small earthquakes continues on Kīlauea’s south flank… These south flank earthquakes are associated with a “slow slip event”

Webcams show no significant change in eruptive activity at Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Aerial view of Puʻu ʻŌʻō taken on 8-30-1990. USGS Photo by J.D. Griggs

Aerial view of Puʻu ʻŌʻō taken on 8-30-1990. USGS Photo by J.D. Griggs

Tilt over the past day was affected by heavy rain. The sulfur dioxide emission rate from all East Rift Zone vents was about 300 metric tons per day when measurements were last possible on October 2, 2015. A swarm of small earthquakes continues on Kīlauea’s south flank, west of Kaʻena Point, near Apua Point.

These south flank earthquakes are associated with a “slow slip event” – more information on slow slip events can be found in this Volcano Watch article from 2012: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch/view.php?id=119

“A slow slip event (SSE). SSEs are episodes of fault slip occurring over the course of 1–2 days beneath Kīlauea’s south flank. If all that slip took place abruptly, it would generate the equivalent of a magnitude 6.0 earthquake. Because the slip occurs over days, however, the SSE motion is detectable only with sensitive geodetic or deformation monitoring instruments.

Over the past decade, SSEs have been observed here and in a number of other places around the world, including Japan, Mexico, and the United States Pacific Northwest. They occur on the same faults that produce large and occasionally destructive earthquakes.

In Washington State and Oregon, SSEs occur so regularly that they can be predicted. It is also thought that SSEs can possibly trigger large, destructive earthquakes; thus, they are well worth studying.”

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