Monday, October 31, 2011

Another Earthquake at Mauna Kea - Hawaii (updated 11/1/11)

A magnitude 2.2 quake struck the eastern flank of Mauna Kea Hawaii today at a depth of 27km. This quake follows on a swarm of quakes ranging from 20km-15km last week that had people wondering what was going on at this dormant volcano. HVO and USGS state that these quakes are more than likely simply crustal settling due to the weight of the mountain, however given that this quake is happening in a different location along some of the same latitudes that the shield volcano is constructed on, one has to wonder if there has been some minor dike intrusion... we will likely never know unless the volcano springs back to life.

Mauna Kea does not have this many earthquakes in a year typically, with over 20 tremors being detected within the month of October. This is very uncharacteristic of the volcano.

These types of swarms have happened in the past, and did not result in eruption, however many sources say the volcano WILL erupt again in the future.

At this point, I'll differ to the experts and say that this is unusual, but not unprecedented. It is still highly unlikely at this point that the volcano will erupt... but not out of the realm of possibility.

****************************************UPDATE**************************************************

Two more 2.2 quakes struck the base of Mauna kea at the same location as the large swarm. One was at a depth of 14km, indicating that whatever is going on, it is getting closer to the surface... Keep your eyes peeled!

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