Volcano Watch: Earthquakes: Beyond the counts

  • USGS photo by K. Lynn Aerial photo of lava fountains along a fissure on Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone at approximately 9:30 a.m. HST on Nov. 28. The photo was taken looking toward the north.

Seismology is one of several critical elements used at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory to assess volcanic unrest and hazards. Often, the earliest signs of volcanic unrest, before lava is seen, are provided by earthquake activity occurring deeper within the Earth than where other volcano monitoring capabilities can reach.