What's Going On With the Volcano?

 
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Duration:
5 minutes, 8 seconds

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

 

 
Kīlauea Summit Fault Lines Map
Kīlauea Summit Fault Lines Map

NPS GISS, Mark Wasser, David Benitez

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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

Saturday, September 22, 2018, 9:36 AM HST

Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 8:37 AM HST

On Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone (LERZ), no incandescence was visible overnight in the collapse pit within the fissure 8 cone. Minor fuming is visible during the day. Seismicity and ground deformation remain low at the summit of Kīlauea. Small aftershocks from the magnitude-6.9 earthquake in early May are still being generated on faults located on Kīlauea's South Flank.

No collapses within Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater have been observed over the past week. Rates of tilting throughout the East Rift Zone are much lower than those observed during the period of major eruptive activity. There has been no change in seismicity during the past week.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates at the summit, Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and LERZ are drastically reduced; the combined rate is less than 1,000 tonnes/day, which is lower than at any time since late 2007. SO2 emission rates from LERZ vents were below the detection threshold of the measurement technique when last measured on Sept. 11. Minor amounts of H2S are being emitted at the summit and at Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) continues to closely monitor Kīlauea's seismicity, deformation, and gas emissions for any sign of reactivation, and maintains visual surveillance of the summit and LERZ. HVO will continue to issue daily updates and additional messages as needed.

 
Kīlauea East Rift Zone

Map Courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone lava flows and fissures, August 14, 12:00 p.m. HST

The lull in eruptive activity on Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone continues. Lava flows have not expanded since August 9. The fissure 8 cone still hosts a small pond of lava, but no new lava has entered the existing channel in over a week. Lava may intermittently enter the ocean between the Kapoho Bay and Isaac Hale Beach Park areas until residual lava contained within the existing flow is depleted. Given the dynamic nature of Kīlauea's eruption, map details shown here are accurate as of the date/time noted. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. A NEW MAP WILL NOT BE ISSUED until the current conditions change.

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Thermal map of fissure system and lava flows

Map Courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Thermal map of fissure system and lava flows

This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 6 am on Wednesday, August 15. Residual lava in the Fissure 8 flow continues to drain, feeding numerous small ocean entries. In the Fissure 8 cone there was a single, small lava pond. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. The thermal map was constructed by stitching many overlapping oblique thermal images collected by a handheld thermal camera during a helicopter overflight of the flow field. The base is a copyrighted color satellite image (used with permission) provided by Digital Globe.

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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.

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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:
23 seconds

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/

 
 
Photo Comparison - Drag the Arrows Left & Right
USGS overflight view of the episode 61G lava flow entering the ocean at Kamokuna on March 30, 2017 Thermal view
USGS overflight view of the episode 61G lava flow entering the ocean at Kamokuna on March 30, 2017
Thermal view - Photos courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory - Following the December 31, 2016, lava delta collapse at Kīlauea Volcano's Kamokuna ocean entry, lava continued to flow into the sea without building a new lava delta, most likely because the lava was cascading down a steep offshore slope to deeper parts of the ocean. But in late March 2017, a new delta finally began to form, although it was obscured by steam during HVO's March 30 overflight (left photo). The thermal image at right shows lava streaming into the ocean from the leading edge of the delta (bright yellow area in center of image) and the adjacent heated seawater (discolored water in the photo). It also shows the trace of the active lava tube that carries lava from the vent to the sea (right side of image), as well as small breakouts of lava along the tube and surface flows near the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent (top of image).



Last updated: September 22, 2018

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