Hawaii Volcano National Park

Hawaii Volcano National Park - Current Update

HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY DAILY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Thursday, January 9, 2020, 11:09 AM HST (Thursday, January 9, 2020, 21:09 UTC)
KILAUEA VOLCANO (VNUM #332010)
19°25'16" N 155°17'13" W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN
Activity Summary: Kīlauea Volcano is not erupting. Monitoring data for December show variable rates of seismicity and ground deformation, low rates of sulfur dioxide emissions, and only minor geologic changes since the end of eruptive activity in September 2018.

Observations: Monitoring data have shown no significant changes in volcanic activity during December.

Rates of seismicity over the month were variable but within long term vales. Sulfur dioxide emission rates are low at the summit and are below detection limits at Puʻu ʻŌʻō and the lower East Rift Zone. The pond at the bottom of Halema'uma'u, which began forming on July 25, 2019, continues to slowly expand and deepen. As of early January, dimensons are: 84 meters by 190 meters or approximately 280 feet by 620 feet. Current depth is about 23 meters or 75 feet.

Over the past month, about a dozen deflation-inflation (DI) events occurred beneath the summit, similar to the prior month. Since early March 2019, GPS stations and tiltmeters at the Kīlauea summit have recorded deformation consistent with slow magma accumulation within the shallow portion of the Kīlauea summit magma system (1-2 km or approximately 1 mile below ground level). However, gas measurements show continuing low levels of sulfur dioxide, consistent with no significant shallowing of magma. Some amount of sulfur dioxide is being dissolved into the summit lake; work continues to try and quantify this process.

Farther east, GPS stations and tiltmeters continue to show motions consistent with slowed refilling of the deep East Rift Zone magmatic reservoir in the broad region between Puʻu ʻŌʻō and Highway 130. Monitoring data do not suggest any imminent change in volcanic hazard for this area. In addition to motion along the East Rift Zone, the south flank of Kīlauea continues to creep seaward at elevated rates following the May 4, 2018 M6.9 earthquake near Kalapana. HVO continues to carefully monitor all data streams along the Kīlauea East Rift Zone and south flank for important changes.

Although not currently erupting, areas of persistently elevated ground temperatures and minor release of gases are still found in the vicinity of the 2018 lower East Rift Zone fissures. These include steam (water), very small amounts of hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide. These conditions are expected to be long-term. Similar conditions following the 1955 eruption continued for years to decades.

Hazards: Hazards remain in the lower East Rift Zone eruption area and at the Kīlauea summit. Residents and visitors near the 2018 fissures, lava flows, and summit collapse area should heed Hawaii County Civil Defense and National Park warnings. Lava flows and features created by the 2018 eruption are primarily on private property and persons are asked to be respectful and not enter or park on private property.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) continues to closely monitor geologic changes, seismicity, deformation, and gas emissions for any sign of increased activity at Kīlauea. HVO maintains visual surveillance of the volcano with web cameras and field visits. Additional messages and alert level changes will be issued as warranted by changing activity.

Background As of June 25 2019, Kīlauea Volcano has been at NORMAL/GREEN. For definitions of USGS Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes, see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/about_alerts.html. Kīlauea remains an active volcano, and it will erupt again. Although we expect clear signs prior to the next eruption, the time frame of warning may be short. Island of Hawaiʻi residents should be familiar with the long-term hazard map for Kīlauea Volcano (https://pubs.usgs.gov/mf/1992/2193/) and should stay informed about Kīlauea activity.
Source: Cascade Range Current Update




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January 21, 2020
Routine overflight of Kīlauea's East Rift Zone

HVO geologists conducted a routine helicopter overflight of Kīlauea's East Rift Zone, from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō to the lower East Rift Zone flow field, on Tuesday, January 21. This photo looks uprift (west) and shows Fissure 8, the dominant vent for the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption. Minor steaming is normally present in and around the cone. USGS photo by M. Zoeller.
Left: This video clip shows a flyover of fissure 8 on Jan. 21. During the 2018 eruption, lava spilled out from the cone into a channel that extended towards the north. Lava traveled approximately 13 km (8 miles) to reach the ocean at Kapoho Bay. USGS video by M. Patrick. Right: This thermal video of the fissure 8 cone shows that small areas of higher temperatures (greater than 100 degrees Celsius, or 212 degrees Fahrenheit) are present on the cone. Those hotter areas likely represent residual heat in the cone and the underlying fissure. USGS video by M. Patrick.
Left: Looking north along the broad fissure 8 channel. At its widest section, the channel is about 430 meters (1400 feet wide). Highway 132 (upper right) can be seen cutting through the braided section of the channel. USGS photo by M. Zoeller. Right: A closer view of the braided section of the fissure 8 channel, with Highway 132 cutting across both branches. USGS photo by M. Zoeller.
Looking uprift (to the southwest) at the 2018 lower East Rift Zone fissure system—from fissure 8 (top right) to fissure 22 (bottom left). Fissure 22 stands out from other 2018 vents due to its conical shape, which resulted from small "Strombolian" explosions that built a pile of cinder around it. Those explosions continued into July 2018, making 22 the last known erupting fissure, other than fissure 8, which continued to erupt until September 5, 2018. USGS photo by M. Zoeller.
A view up the fissure 8 channel in an area just west of Kapoho Crater, where the flow widened and ponded during the 2018 eruption. The browner lava with ridges is some of the final sluggish lava that covered the channel floor in early August 2018, just prior to fissure 8 waning. USGS photo by M. Zoeller.
Left: The black sand beach at Isaac Hale Beach Park on Jan. 21, 2020. Basaltic sand from the 2018 lava delta (far right) continues to accumulate, widening and elongating the beach at Pohoiki Bay. USGS photo by M. Zoeller. Right: This aerial view shows the rugged terrain created by thick "toothpaste" lava flows erupted from fissure 8 during the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption. This terrain is typical of the shoreline in the Kapoho area. USGS photo by M. Zoeller.
On Kīlauea's middle East Rift Zone, thick clouds and steam prevented clear views into the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō Crater. However, a partial view into Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō showed that a small area on the south crater wall had collapsed over the past week. USGS photo by M. Zoeller.

Source: Kilauea Volcano Observatory

Information courtesy of ...
U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO).
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