What's Going On With the Volcano?
Current Conditions Courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
July 30, 2016 - 9:02 AM HST
Activity Summary: Eruptive activity continues at Kīlauea Volcano's summit and East Rift Zone. The 61G lava flow extending southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō continues its Kamokuna Ocean entry and poses no threat to nearby communities. The lava lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater continues to circulate and intermittently spatter. Seismicity and deformation rates throughout the volcano remain at background levels.
Summit Observations: The lava lake within the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook crater remains active. The depth to the lake was estimated at 26 m (85 ft) below the crater rim, measured last night. Tiltmeters at Kīlauea's summit recorded slightly decreased tilt. Seismicity is within normal, background rates with tremor fluctuations associated with lava lake spattering. The summit sulfur dioxide emission rate ranged from 580 to 3,200 metric tons/day measured yesterday.
Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Webcam images over the past 24 hours show persistent glow at long-term sources within the crater. There were no significant changes in seismicity or tilt over the past 24 hours. The sulfur dioxide emission rate from all East Rift Zone vents on July 27 was about 290 metric tons/day.
Lava Flow Observations: The 61G lava flow extending southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō towards the coastal plain on Kīlauea's south flank remains active, with nearly all surface breakouts limited to the coastal plain. The Kamokuna area ocean entry continues and has widened since July 26. It now spans 240 m (787 ft) where it spills over the sea cliff. Areas of incandescence remain visible in overnight webcam views of the active lava flow field. There were virtually no active breakouts on the pali remaining, with nearly all activity limited to the coastal plain.
As a strong caution to visitors viewing the new ocean entry (location where lava meets the sea) for Flow 61G, there are additional significant hazards besides walking on uneven surfaces and around unstable, extremely steep sea cliffs. Venturing too close to an ocean entry exposes you to flying debris created by the explosive interaction between lava and water. Also, the new land created is unstable because it is built 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. Finally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates an acidic plume laden with fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.
Please see these fact sheets for additional information:http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2000/fs152-00/
July 15, 2016 - Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Lava Flow Updates
Kīlauea summit eruption viewed from Jaggar Museum
July 5, 2016 - Hawai‘i volcanoes National Park Press Release - Rangers Urge Park Visitors to View Latest Flows from Safe Distance
Please view this four minute video - "Plan for Safe Viewing of Lava Flows"
This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea's East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of July 19 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on July 26 is shown in red. Lava reached the ocean on the morning of July 26. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.
The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth's surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).
Full resolution map (opens in a new window)
This image shows a thermal map of the flow on the pali and coastal plain, created from airborne thermal images. White pixels are hot, and show areas of active surface breakouts. The background image is a satellite image collected before the current lava flow was active. The thermal map shows minimal activity on the upper pali, with a channelized ʻaʻā flow at the base of the pali. The flow front area had scattered pāhoehoe breakouts, with a narrow lobe of active lava forming the leading tip of the flow. The leading tip of the flow was 730 m (0.45 miles) from the ocean.
Full resolution image (opens in new window)
This satellite image was captured on Wednesday, July 13, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA's Earth Observing 1 satellite. The image is provided courtesy of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.
The image shows that surface breakouts (red pixels) continue to be active on the pali and coastal plain. The flow front remains roughly 900 m (0.6 miles) from the ocean, with little advancement over the past several days.
Full resolution image (opens in new window)
July 3, 2016 - County of Hawai‘i Civil Defense Agency Press Release (pdf 110KB)
Kalapana viewing area status (recorded message): 808-430-1966
Directions to Kalapana from Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park: Take Hwy 11 towards Hilo to Hwy 130. Follow Hwy 130 until you reach the road's end and the visitor parking area. (45 miles).
HOT LINES for Eruption Information
Resources for more information about the lava flows:
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
County of Hawai'i Civil Defense
The lava lakes in the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater and Halemaʻumaʻu crater, as well as other views may be viewed on webcameras made available by the scientists at USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Daily updates by staff that monitor Hawaiʻi's volcanoes provide visitors with the most recent observations on volcanic conditions.
If you are interested in more information about the Kīlauea east rift zone, we invite you to watch the video cast of USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geophysicist Mike Poland from our After Dark in the Park presentation on August 23, 2011. Mike discusses the volcanic history of the area. It's one hour in length and can be viewed here