Loihi volcano news & activity updates:
Loihi submarine volcano (Hawai'i): earthquake swarms might indicate ongoing or coming eruption
Monday Jun 26, 2017 07:38 AM | VON: T
Recent earthquakes under Loihi volcano (Hawai'i)Since late May, the volcano hidden beneath the Pacific south of Big Island has been showing markedly increased seismic activity. Several earthquake swarms were detected under the volcano.
This probably suggest that magma has been intruding into the volcanic edifice recently. Whether it also indicates that the volcano is currently erupting or about to do so, remains unknown.
Due to its great depth (about 1000 meters below the sea surface), eruptions from Loihi are difficult to detect with certainty and would not show any visible signs on the surface. The water pressure is too large to prevent any explosive activity reach the surface and erupted material is dispersed too quickly to reach the surface in significant quantities.
So far, there have been 4 recent seismic swarms:
1: The first earthquake swarm occurred on 26 May 2017 under the southern rift zone of the volcano, at approx. 11 km depth.
2: The second swarm comprised a few shocks on 7 and 8 June also under the southern rift zone at 8-11 km depth.
3: The third swarm took place between 11 and 12 June at depths between 12.5 and 9 km, with scattered locations under the eastern slope of Loihi.
4: The fourth earthquake swarm, so far the largest, occurred between 15-18 June with hypocenters between 1.5-17 km under the southern rift zone.
Since then, only two small quakes of magnitudes around 2 have been detected on 22 and 23 June, under the eastern and southern flanks at 13 and 8 km depth.