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3.3 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes East Hawaii

A 3.3 magnitude was recorded early Tuesday morning, 18 kilometres (11 miles) from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, USA. The shallow tremor was recorded at 1:54 AM local time at a depth of 8.5 km (5.3 miles).
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) the tremor’s epicentre was located 16 km (10 miles) S (176°) from Fern Forest, 18 km (11 miles) S (185°) from Eden Roc, 42 km (26 miles) S (185°) from Hilo, and 358 km (222 miles) SE (127°) from Honolulu.


Kilauea presently is the world’s longest-lived volcanic eruption. Cycles of activity at the volcano’s summit have been stable for months, however, ever since lava flows at the Kamoamoa Fissure subsided in March 2011.

Deep within Halema’uma’u Crater (which is itself in the Kilauea Caldera) a small lava lake rises and falls as magma ebbs and flows within the volcano. Sensitive instruments monitor these movements by recording the tilt of the summit: decreasing tilt reflects deflation of the magma chamber, increasing tilt inflation. Each cycle of deflation and inflation usually lasts several days.

The below natural-color satellite image shows the summit of Kilauea Volcano, near the southern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Kilauea Caldera and Halema’uma’u Crater are both visible, as well as the Hawaii Volcano Observatory and the village of Volcano. The northeast, windward side of Kilauea is covered in dark green Ohia forest. The dry, leeward side is a nearly barren brown. Fresh lava flows are dark gray. A blue-tinted volcanic plume rises from within a pit near the southeastern edge of Halema’uma’u.

It has been a busy three days in the Pacific. Saturday there was a 6.4 magnitude near the east coast of Honshu, Japan and on Friday a 6.7 magnitude struck Fiji. None of the earthquakes generated a tsunami.

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