What's Going On With the Volcano?

Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
Duration:
5 minutes, 8 seconds

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

 

 

Current Conditions Courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

 
Halema‘uma‘u Crater continues to subside and enlarge
June 22, 2018 - Halema‘uma‘u Crater continues to subside and enlarge

Photo courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Thursday, July 19, 2018, 12:27 PM HST

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone

Fissure 8 continues to erupt lava into the perched channel leading northeastward from the vent. Lava levels in the channel appeared a bit low this morning and there were no overflows noted. The southern margin of the flow is about 500 m (0.3 mi) from the boat ramp at Isaac Hale Park this morning. Despite no visible surface connection to the fissure 8 channel, lava continues to ooze out at a few points on the 6 km (3.7 mi) wide flow front into the ocean.

No other fissures are active this morning.

Pele's hair and other lightweight volcanic glass fragments from the lava fountain at Fissure 8 continue to fall downwind of the fissure, dusting the ground within a few hundred meters (yards) of the vent. High winds may waft lighter particles to greater distances. Residents are urged to minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash.

The most recent map of lava flows can be found here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

HVO field crews are on site tracking activity as conditions allow and are reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Observations are also collected on a daily basis from cracks in the area of Highway 130; no changes in temperature, crack width, or gas emissions have been noted for several days.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high and continue to increase. VOG information can be found at https://vog.ivhhn.org/

The ocean entry is a hazardous area. The interaction of lava with the ocean creates "laze", a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that drifts downwind and can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs. Close to the ocean entry, flying debris from explosive interaction between lava and water is a primary hazard. Additionally, submarine magma-water interaction can result in explosive activity beyond the visible lava delta, creating a hazard that extends offshore. The lava delta is unstable because it is built up to 800 m (0.5 mi) from the former coastline on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea.

Magma continues to be supplied to the Lower East Rift Zone. Seismicity remains relatively low although higher amplitude tremor is occasionally being recorded on seismic stations close to the ocean entry.

Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava in the area of the active fissures are possible at any time. Residents downslope of the region of fissures should remain informed and heed all Hawaii County Civil Defense messages and warnings.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

After the collapse event that occurred 1:28 a.m. HST July 18, seismicity at the summit decreased immediately following the event and is now back to 25-35 earthquake per hour leading up to the next collapse/explosion event, which is expected to occur this afternoon. Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halemaʻumaʻu continues in response to the ongoing subsidence at the summit.

Sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano's summit are very low. This gas and minor amounts of ash resuspended by wind are being transported downwind. Small bursts of ash and gas may coincide with the summit collapse/explosion events. The summit region is occasionally impacted by sulfur dioxide from the lower East Rift Zone eruption.

Forecasts of ashfall under forecast wind conditions: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/ash_information.html

Information on volcanic ash hazards and how to prepare for ash fall maybe found at http://www.ivhhn.org/information#ash (health impacts) OR https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanic_ash/ (other impacts).

 
Kīlauea East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows

Map Courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone lava flows and fissures, July 19, 12:00 p.m. HST

Given the dynamic nature of Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone eruption, with changing vent locations, fissures starting and stopping, and varying rates of lava effusion, 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.

Full resolution image (opens in new window)

 
Thermal map of fissure system and lava flows

Map Courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 17

This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 6 am on Tuesday, July 17. The fountain at Fissure 8 remains active, with the lava flow entering the ocean. The dominant ocean entry was on the new lobe that reached the sea near Ahalanui last week. 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.

Full resolution image (opens in new window)

 
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.

Full resolution image (opens in new window)
 
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.

Full resolution image (opens in new window)

 
Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
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: July 19, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 52
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718

Phone:

(808) 985-6000

Contact Us