What's Going On With The Volcanoes?

 
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Duration:
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Eruption update of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō , Halema‘uma‘u and the East Rift Zone in lower Puna

 

 
Kīlauea Summit - Before & After
NASA image taken on January 14, 2003 USGS photo taken on August 7, 2018
NASA image taken on January 14, 2003
USGS photo taken on August 7, 2018
 Drag center circle/line left and right to reveal the before and after photos.



 

Current Conditions Courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

 
 
The New Look of Halema‘uma‘u on August 17, 2018
The New Look of Halema‘uma‘u on August 17, 2018

NPS Photo/Janice Wei

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Kīlauea Activity Summary:
Kīlauea Volcano is not erupting. Monitoring data continue to show steady rates of seismicity and ground deformation, low rates of sulfur dioxide emission, and only minor geologic changes since the end of eruptive activity in September 2018.

As of June 25, Kīlauea Volcano is at NORMAL/GREEN. For definitions of USGS Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes, see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/about_alerts.html
Kīlauea remains an active volcano, and it will erupt again. Although we expect clear signs prior to the next eruption, the time frame of warning may be short. Island of Hawaiʻi residents should be familiar with the long-term hazard map for Kīlauea Volcano (https://pubs.usgs.gov/mf/1992/2193/) and should stay informed about Kīlauea activity.

Mauna Loa Activity Summary: For the past several months, earthquake and ground deformation rates at Mauna Loa Volcano have exceeded long term background levels. An eruption is not imminent and current rates are not cause for alarm. However, they do indicate changes in the shallow magma storage system at Mauna Loa.

Following a significant earthquake swarm in October 2018, HVO seismic stations have recorded an average of at least 50 shallow, small-magnitude earthquakes per week beneath Mauna Loa's summit, upper Southwest Rift Zone, and upper west flank. This compares to a rate of fewer than 20 per week in the first half of 2018. Shallow earthquakes are occurring in locations similar to those that preceded Mauna Loa's most recent eruptions in 1975 and 1984.

During this same time period, GPS instrumentation and satellite radar have measured ground deformation consistent with renewed recharge of the volcano's shallow magma storage system. The current rate and pattern of ground deformation is similar to that measured during inflation of Mauna Loa in 2005 and again from 2014 - 2018.

Together, these observations indicate the volcano is no longer at a background level of activity. Accordingly, HVO is elevating the Mauna Loa alert level to ADVISORY and the aviation color code to YELLOW.

Alert levels and aviation color codes are explained here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/about_alerts.html

This increase in alert level does not mean that an eruption is imminent nor that progression to an eruption is certain. A similar increase in activity occurred between 2014 and 2018 and no eruption occurred

 
 
Kīlauea Summit - Then and Now
Kīlauea summit on November 28, 2008 Kīlauea summit on August 1, 2018
Kīlauea summit on November 28, 2008 Photo courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Kīlauea summit on August 1, 2018 Photo courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory: Then and now. It has proven difficult to exactly match past and present views of Kīlauea's summit to show the dramatic changes in the volcanic landscape, but here's our latest attempt. At left is a photo taken on November 28, 2008, with a distinct gas plume rising from the vent that had opened within Halema‘uma‘u about eight months earlier. At right is a photo taken on August 1, 2018, to approximate the 2008 view for comparison.



 
View of the southern edge of the growing Halema‘uma‘u crater

Photo courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

June 19, 2018 - View of the southern edge of the growing Halema‘uma‘u crater (middle right) during helicopter-assisted work at Kīlauea's summit. The once-popular parking lot (closed since 2008) that provided access to Halema‘uma‘u is no longer--the parking lot fell into the crater this past week as more and more of the Kīlauea Crater floor slides into Halema‘uma‘u. The Crater Rim Drive road (middle) now ends at Halema‘uma‘u instead of the parking lot. The view is toward the west-northwest.

Full resolution image (opens in new window)

 
During the helicopter overflight on June 18, crews captured this image of the growing Halema‘uma‘u crater viewed to the southeast

Photo courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

June 18, 2018 - During the helicopter overflight on June 18, crews captured this image of the growing Halema‘uma‘u crater viewed to the southeast. With HVO and Jagger Museum sitting on the caldera rim (right side, middle where the road bends to the left) it is easier to comprehend the scale of subsidence at the summit. The estimated total volume loss is about 260 million cubic meters as of June 15th.

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Kīlauea summit on June 12, 2018
Halema‘uma‘u aerial view on June 12, 2018

Photo courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

June 12, 2018 - Events at the summit of Kīlauea over the past few weeks have dramatically reshaped Halema‘uma‘u, shown here in this aerial view, which looks west across the crater. The obvious flat surface (photo center) is the former Halema‘uma‘u crater floor, which has subsided at least 100 m (about 300 ft) during the past couple weeks. Ground cracks circumferential to the crater rim can be seen cutting across the parking lot (left) for the former Halema‘uma‘u visitor overlook (closed since 2008). The deepest part of Halema‘uma‘u (foreground) is now about 300 m (1,000 ft) below the crater rim. The Halema‘uma‘u crater rim and walls continue to slump inward and downward with ongoing subsidence at Kīlauea's summit.

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Duration:
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Video of the lava lake activity in Halema‘uma‘u Crater on April 9, 2018. This is a zoomed video from the observation deck at Jaggar Museum, which is about a mile from the eruption site. Video by Volunteer Ranger Russell Atkinson.
Please note the lava lake dropped on May 2, 2018 and the crater began collapsing soon after.

 

 

HOT LINES for Eruption Information

Resources for more information about the lava flows:

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
by phone at: (808) 967-8862
by web at: https://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilaueastatus.php

County of Hawai'i Civil Defense
by phone at: (808) 935-0031 (7:45 am - 4:30 pm)
by web at: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/

 

Last updated: July 10, 2019

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