What's Going On With the Volcano?
Current Conditions Courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 6:05 AM HST
Monday, May 21, 2018, 4:11 PM HST
Please see this new section of the HVO web site for information on the ongoing activity at Kilauea Volcano.
LOWER EAST RIFT ZONE
Moderate-level eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts.
Fissure 22 is erupting a short line of low lava fountains that feed a channelized flow that reaches the coast just north of MacKenzie State Park. Spattering continues from a reactivated Fissures 6 that intermittently feeds a short lava flow. Fissures 17 and 19 continue weak spattering.
HVO field crews are on site tracking the lava flow and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense.
For the most recent map showing the locations of activity, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html. These maps are updated as often as possible but may not reflect the most recent changes.
Volcanic gas emissions have tripled as a result of the voluminous eruptions from Fissure 20 so SO2 concentrations are likely elevated to higher levels throughout the area downwind of the vents. Moderate trade winds today means that areas downwind of Kilauea gas emission sources may experience varying levels of vog. For forecast information, please see: http://mkwc.ifa.hawaii.edu/vmap/hysplit/.
For other information about vog, please see: https://vog.ivhhn.org/.
This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation continues and seismicity remains elevated in the area.
Future outbreaks could occur both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. Communities downslope of these fissures could be at risk from lava inundation. Activity can change rapidly.
Conditions around the erupting fissures can change very quickly. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts.
One explosive eruption of ash occurred at about 1 am this morning. Several smaller ash emissions have also taken place and produced abundant ash. Additional explosions possible at any time.
Seismic levels, which abruptly decreased after explosive eruptions on Saturday afternoon and Sunday noon, are again slowly increasing.
At this time, based on HVO web cameras, a robust plume of gas and steam is billowing out of the Overlook vent and drifting generally southwest.
At any time, activity may again become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles very near the vent. Communities downwind should be prepared for ashfall as long as this activity continues.
Resources on volcanic ash hazards and preparedness information: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanic_ash / OR http://www.ivhhn.org/ash-protection.
Resources on vog: https://vog.ivhhn.org/.
National Weather Service ashfall information and advisories: https://forecast.weather.gov/.
Seismicity and deformation continue at the Kilauea summit. Deflation is ongoing. Additional earthquakes in the Kilauea summit area are expected as long as the summit continues to deflate.
Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html.
USGS/HVO continues to monitor the situation at the Kilauea summit and the lower East Rift Zone 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other emergency authorities. HVO geologists are onsite in the area this morning conducting overflights, examining the fissure vent activity for significant changes, and searching for any signs of new or resumed activity.
Please see this link for newly organized information about ash hazards, gas hazards, and the Lower East Rift Zone eruption. https://vog.ivhhn.org/
Hawaii County Civil Defense messages regarding conditions, warning, and evacuations may be found at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/.
Map as of 11:00 a.m. HST, May 22. The flow field has not expanded significantly during the past day because most of erupted lava moved southward through the active lava channels and into the ocean. Note a new lava flow that was observed during this morning's overflight west of the active channels (see label). There was a single ocean entry this morning. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015.
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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.
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Ranger Shyla explains how visitors can stay "Lava Safe" on the world's most active volcano, Kīlauea,
HOT LINES for Eruption Information
Resources for more information about the lava flows:
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
County of Hawai'i Civil Defense
May 1, 2018 - The County of Hawai‘i has closed the Kalapana lava viewing area at the end of Hwy 130 outside of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
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 - Photos courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Last updated: May 23, 2018