Scientists detected more than 100 earthquakes beneath Loihi volcano in two days

Local News

COURTESY UH SOEST

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Scientists say they detected a cluster of more than 100 earthquakes yesterday and today beneath Loihi Volcano, which is located underwater about 21 miles off the Big Island’s Pahala Coast.

Though fascinating, scientists say there is no indication any submarine eruption has occurred, and there are no significant concerns to the islands of us humans.

“It is an active volcano like Lilauea and Mauna Loa,” said Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist Dr. David Phillips. “As such there’s a constant level of activity. This is an extension of the activity that we see on land. It’s fascinating how the volcanic processes work. Were using all the instruments that we have to monitor the activity of loihi. And it’s just an opportunity to look at a unique volcano doing its thing.”

The last major activity with Loihi was back in 1996.

But rather than adding additional volume or height to the volcano, it collapsed.

Very similar to what the puuoo vent did prior to the last eruption of Kilauea two years ago this month.

“That’s exactly right,” said Phillips. “So what that means is the material is moving around just like at Kilauea in 2018. The irruption was associated with the collapse of the calera. Like the eruption of 1996 there was a summit collapse and the magma is moving out to the rift zones. Loihi has rift zones just like Kilauea. So what we saw 1986 was much more activity then we’re seeing now.”

If you’re wondering, Phillips says don’t plan on buying land on Loihi anytime soon.

That despite the flurry of activity, it could be another 200,000 years before it breaks the ocean’s surface.

“Just a reminder that hey I’m here too and there’s cool stuff going on,” said Phillips.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories