Over the past 30 years, the area north of Nāʻālehu has experienced 6 earthquakes, including today’s event, with magnitudes greater than 4.0 and at depths of 5–13 km (3.1–8.1 mi). This area of Kaʻū is a seismically active region where a magnitude-6.2 earthquake occurred in 1919. Areas adjacent to this morning’s event experienced earthquakes of magnitudes 6.0, 7.1, and 7.9 in 1868.The earthquake caused no detectable changes in Kīlauea Volcano’s ongoing eruptions, on Mauna Loa, or at other active volcanoes on the Island of Hawaiʻi, says USGS. A magnitude-3.1 earthquake that occurred in Kīlauea Caldera about one minute before the magnitude-4.5 earthquake was unrelated to the Naʻalehu event.
The depth, location, and recorded seismic waves of today’s earthquake suggest a source on the large fault plane between the old ocean floor and overlying volcanic crust, a common source for earthquakes in this area. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
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