What's Going On With The Volcanoes?

Hardened black lava surface within a volcanic crater.
On May 26, the lava lake was 229 m (751 ft) deep and hardened across its surface. (USGS Photo)

Kīlauea Volcano is No Longer Erupting

Observations indicate that the eruption in Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea volcano has paused. No molten lava or night glow is visible.

 
 
From lava to water and back again. Learn about three remarkable changes in the past three years at Halemaʻumaʻu crater.
 

Current Conditions Courtesy of USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Tuesday, July 13, 2021, 10:02 AM HST

 
Digital Elevation Model of rising of the most recent lava lake.
An elevation profile line across Halema‘uma‘u crater, from each Digital Elevation Model, allowed HVO scientists to track the rise of the lava lake (click for full-size).

USGS Photo

Kīlauea
Activity Summary: Kīlauea Volcano is not currently erupting. No surface activity has been observed by field crews or in webcam images since May 23, 2021. Seismicity has slowly increased in recent weeks in the summit region, with continued summit inflation over the past several months. Sulfur dioxide emission rates remain slightly elevated. It is possible that the Halema‘uma‘u vent could resume eruption or that Kīlauea is entering a longer period of quiescence prior to the next eruption.

Summit Observations: The most recent sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rate, measured on July 6, 2021, was 70 tonnes per day (t/d). SO2 emission rates have been approaching levels associated with the non-eruptive period from late 2018 to late 2020 (30-35 t/d) and are significantly lower than emission rates that averaged over 800 t/d from mid-February to mid-April. Summit tiltmeters recorded two deflation-inflation cycles over the past week, along with continued gradual inflation. Continued inflation was also recorded by summit GPS instruments; however, the pattern of tilt and GPS motions indicates that the inflation center may have shifted slightly to the southern part of the caldera. Seismicity has been slowly increasing in recent weeks, though it has not yet reached levels seen immediately prior to the December 2020 eruption.

Halemaʻumaʻu Lava Lake Observations: The lake’s surface is completely covered by solidified lava crust. No surface activity or evidence of recent surface activity has been observed over the past week. Near-real time webcam views of the lava lake can be found in the webcam link below.

East Rift Zone Observations: No unusual activity noted in the region. Geodetic monitors indicate that the summit and upper East Rift Zone—between the summit and Puʻuʻōʻō—is refilling at rates similar to those measured over the past 2 years and before the December 2020 eruption. SO2 and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emissions from Puʻuʻōʻō were below instrumental detection levels when last measured on January 7, 2021.

Hazard Analysis: Levels of volcanic gas—SO2 and carbon dioxide (CO2)—can remain locally hazardous even though Kīlauea is no longer erupting. SO2 gas emissions have greatly decreased. However, local concentrations of SO2 or hydrogen sulfide (H2S) may persist in downwind areas, and residents may from time to time notice odors of these gases. Significant hazards also remain around Halemaʻumaʻu from crater wall instability, ground cracking, and rockfalls that can be enhanced by earthquakes within the area closed to the public. Even with decreased effusion rates and no signs of lava lake activity, conditions around Halema‘uma‘u crater remain hazardous.

Vog information can be found at https://vog.ivhhn.org/.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) continues to closely monitor Kīlauea’s seismicity, deformation, and gas emissions, and maintains visual surveillance of the summit and the East Rift Zone.
 
Full moon over Mauna Loa volcano
Full moon over Mauna Loa (NPS Photo/J. Wei)

Mauna Loa
Current Volcano Alert Level: Advisory/Yellow
Activity Summary: Mauna Loa Volcano is not erupting. Rates of deformation and seismicity at the summit remain slightly elevated and above long-term background levels. Other Mauna Loa monitoring data streams show no significant change in deformation rates or patterns that would indicate increased volcanic hazard at this time.

For more current monitoring info about Mauna Loa, see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna_loa/status.html

Last updated: July 15, 2021

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