Kilauea, Lower East Rift zone: eruption continues with lava overflows again threatening property in Kapoho Beach Lots and the new lava delta growing to 460 acres
Update Fri 29 Jun 2018 14:13
Kilauea’s LERZ eruption continues in much the same way as it has since lava flows from fissure 8 reached the ocean at Kapoho at the start of June. The cinder cone constructed through lava spattering around fissure 8 is by now 55 m (180 ft) tall at its highest point, mostly hiding the lava fountains which only occasionally rise above it. HVO/USGS estimates that the rate at which lava effuses from fissure 8 is approximately 100 cubic meters per second. The well established 8-mile channel through which this lava is quickly transported to the ocean shows intermittent, short-lived overflows which rarely extend beyond the existing flow field.
This aerial image taken on Sunday morning 24 June 2018, shows the section of the channelized flow below Kapoho crater where the lava is ponding and overflowing at its edges, sending lava laterally. (Bruce Omori, Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery)
This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 6 am on Wednesday, June 27. The fountain at Fissure 8 remains active, with the lava flow entering the ocean at Kapoho. Small breakouts were observed in the area of Kapoho Beach Lott as well as very small, short flows near Fissure 22. 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. (HVO/USGS)
However, over the past few days some changes occurred in the final part of the lava channel, after the flow takes a southward turn towards the ocean entry. Bruce Omori observed during one of his morning overflights that lava has been somewhat ponding below Kapoho crater, resulting in overflows that migrate laterally away from the channel and once again threaten homes in the Kapoho farm and beach lots area north of the present flow field. The 27 June 2018 thermal map of the flow field confirms this and in addition shows that the lava channel has crusted over about 0.8 km (0.5 mi) inland of the ocean entry. Lava is now moving beneath this crust and into the still-molten interior of earlier flows before it enters the sea at former Kapoho Bay.
This image taken during an early morning overflight on Sunday, June 24, 2018 shows dozens of rivulets of lava entering the sea at Kapoho, creating multiple active ocean entries with laze plumes. (Bruce Omori, Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery)
Meanwhile the lava flow front at the coast broadened southward and is now nearly 3,2 kilometers (2 miles) in width. Lava is entering the ocean both on the southern portion of the flow front where previously the open channel ended but also along a 1 km (0.6 mi) wide area to the north where multiple laze plumes are produced from smaller oozing lobes. HVO/USGS reports that the new lava delta is by now 1,86 square kilometres (460 acres) in size, an increase of 50 new acres over the last two days.
Light spattering was observed at fissure 22, near the Puna Geothermal Venture, during an 5h45 am overflight on Wednesday 27 June 2018. (Bruce Omori, Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery)
Apart from fissure 8, there is also near continuous activity from fissure 22 which shows weak spattering and creates smalls flows around the base of its spatter cone. Minor incandescence has also been observed at fissures 16 and 18.
Kilauea’s Lower East Rift Zone eruption continues unabatedly: fissure 8 lava fountaining flows quickly through the open channel to Kapoho ocean entry
Update Sat 23 Jun 2018 12:00
The fissure eruption at Kilauea’s Lower East Rift Zone continued without any change throughout the past week. Activity remains focused on Fissure 8 where lava is still erupting at a high rate and then flows within the well established channel to the ocean. Fissures 6, 16/18 and 22 have been intermittently active, showing incandescence and/or lava spattering that at times created small flows.
Lava continues to erupt at a high rate from Fissure 8 and flow within the well established channel to the ocean south of Kapoho. (HVO/USGS)
Lava from fissure 8 travels about 13 km (8 mi) to the ocean in an open channel. Lava remains incandescent (glowing orange) throughout its journey. The ocean entry is at upper right. (HVO/USGS)
Fissure 8 cone, lava fountain, and channelized lava flow on the morning overflight - June 19 at about 6:10am HST. One can also see the difference in the effect of the eruption gasses on the vegetation downwind (top left) and upwind (bottom right) of the lava. (HVO/USGS)
The fountains at Fissure 8 have built a horseshoe-shaped tephra cone of about 50 m (165 ft) height through repeated hurling of lava fragments onto and over the growing rim. Lava exiting the cone forms rapids or cascades near the base of the cone as well as a series of standing waves in the uppermost section of the channel. Lava flow velocity varies in different portions of the channel, being faster in bends and more narrow channels. It is also faster in the center of the channel and decreases in speed toward the margins where friction with the channel walls increases. HVO/USGS estimates the maximum lava flow velocity in the channel to be 7.7 m/s (17 mph).
You can see in this video, shared by Ikaiko Marzo on his Facebook page, how fast the lava flows in the channel:
Large blocks of cooled lava the size of a car or bus are sometimes dislodged from the channel margins and carried downstream in the lava flow. As the 13 km (8 mile) perched open channel is filled to the brim with lava there are periodically small overflows occurring along the channel margins. Such overflows are however sluggish, moving slowly downslope as they build up the levees, and being short-lived they don’t extend beyond the current flow field.
G Brad Lewis caught a giant lava boulder ‘the size of a school bus’ floating on the channelized lava flow on this video which he shared on his Facebook page:
The only area where there is some minor expansion of the current lava field is along the southern margin of the wide ocean entry at Kapoho. Multiple white steam and laze plumes indicate that there are many smaller streams of lava that enter the ocean across a broad area. Some as liquid, fast flowing pahoehoe lava and others oozing from a textured a’a flow field. By now this eruption has added about 1,54 square kilometres (380 acres) of new land to into the sea. The wide lava ocean entry creates off shore upwelling and large underwater explosions.
You can see a few impressive underwater explosions at the ocean entry in this video taken by Ikaiko Marzo during one of the Kalapana Cultural Boat Tours:
Great images of the surface texture of the open lava channel as well as the lava ocean entry can be found in the following lava update of Bruce Omori’s (Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery) on his Facebook page:
Continued summit subsidence evokes earthquake damage to Jaggar Museum and former HVO head quarters
Update Fri 22 Jun 2018 18:04
Kilauea’s summit continues to steadily subside in response to the large volume of magma that was drained from beneath the caldera towards the lower East Rift Zone early May. This process is most pronounced around Halema’uma’u crater whose walls are falling in on itself and by now has grown to nearly twice its original width and depth – having partially swallowed the old overlook parking lot. What was once a 12-acre (0,05 square km) lava lake in the middle of the crater has grown to more than 130 acres (0.526 square km), at places up to 300 m (1000 ft) deep, and is getting larger every single day. A preliminary estimate of summit volume loss is around 260 million cubic meters as of June 15th, 2018.
This image was captured during the helicopter overflight on June 18, 2018. It shows the growing Halema‘uma‘u crater viewed to the southeast, with HVO and Jagger Museum sitting on the caldera rim to give a better scale of the ongoing subsidence at the summit. (HVO/USGS)
This overflight image of Kīlauea's summit , taken on June 18, shows the continued dramatic slumping and collapse of the Halema‘uma‘u crater area. The photo shows the area north-northwest of Halema‘uma‘u near a GPS station, North Pit, that has subsided about 60 m (197 ft) in the past week alone. (HVO/USGS)
: A helicopter overflight on June 19 confirms that the Overlook parking area (closed since 2008) has largely slumped into the crater of Halema‘uma‘u. The image view is to the northwest and the road beneath the helicopter leads to the former parking area in the center right. (HVO/USGS)
This slow but steady slumping of Halema’uma’u has given rise to a remarkable seismic pattern that has been established since the end of May and persists to this day. Over a time span of ca 20- 28 hour periods, lower seismicity (about 10 earthquakes an hour) quickly changes to more intense seismic activity (up to 35 earthquakes an hour) as pressure builds up deep inside the vent. Eventually this pressure built-up culminates in a gas driven explosion and seismic event larger than magnitude 5, creating a gas and ash plume that rises about 305 meter (1000 feet) before it quickly dissipates. These stronger events may thereby trigger partial collapses of the unstable rim of Halema’uma’u crater.
The rock wall at the Jaggar Museum Overlook is cracked and crumbling. (HVO/USGS image taken June 18, 2018)
With around 500 earthquakes of magnitude 2 – 3 and higher on a daily basis, Kilauea’s summit is more or less constantly shaking and this seismicity is readily felt by the residents in nearby Volcano village. Meanwhile the dramatic changes that occur around Halema’uma’u are also affecting the nearby buildings of the Jaggar museum and HVO head quarters. Besides being covered with layers of ash and some smaller projectiles, these structures have suffered considerable earthquake damage.
Although they initially remained at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory after closure of Hawaii Volcanoes NP on May 4, 2018, the HVO scientists and staff eventually needed to evacuate the building and relocate to the University of Hilo by the end of May. Cracks have appeared in the walls and the flooring has buckled in response to the ongoing summit earthquakes and subsidence. Since closure of the park about 6 weeks ago, the Jaggar museum is all but deserted and the popular observation deck is now covered in ash, riddled with cracks and in general structurally unsound. Park staff have started to evacuate important exhibits and art work from the museum to store them elsewhere. It is not clear when the Jaggar Museum, founded in 1912, will re-open again to the public – if at all.
Below you can find the Facebook update of Hawaii Volcanoes NP on the damage in the Jaggar museum:
Ongoing summit subsidence triggers continuous M2-M3 earthquakes with a daily M5 subsurface explosion
Update Mon 18 Jun 2018 10:26
Kilauea’s summit caldera continues to subside in response to the withdrawal of magma from beneath the volcano’s summit that drains to the Lower East Rift Zone eruption site. The seismic cycle with M5 events and explosions in Halema’uama’u crater also persists, resulting in inward slumping of the crater rim and walls.
Photograph showing the inward slumping of Halema‘uma‘u crater rim and walls in response to ongoing subsidence of Kilauea’s summit. This view to the southwest, taken after the explosion that occurred on the morning of 16 June, a section of dark-coloured wall rock (center left) has detached and dropped downward into the crater. (HVO/USGS)
Comparison of Halema`uma`u photos taken from the same location in Volcano House on the north rim of Kilauea caldera on May 19 and June 13, 2018. The focal length of the lens for each photo is almost the same. The photos show the enlargement of Halema`uma`u laterally and vertically -- note how much lower the rim is relative to the tree in June compared to May. (HVO/USGS)
This diagram shows all earthquakes registered on Kilauea volcano up to a depth of 30 km during the past 7 days. It clearly shows the seismic cycle that has started at the end of May and is now well established into a ca. 24 hour gradual build up to a M5 event. (www.VolcanoDiscovery.com)
HVO/USGS report that during the night from 14 to 15 June seismicity increased once again to about 40 events per hour, including up to 5 magnitude-3+ earthquakes per hour, many of which were felt in the nearby village of Volcano. This gradual build up continued on June 15, 2018, and resulted in over 180 seismic events between 6 am and noon, 8 of which were stronger than magnitude-3.0. Finally an explosive event occurred at 11:56 AM that produced an ash and gas plume to nearly 3050 m (10,000 ft). This explosive event was captured by the Kilauea caldera live streaming camera and a video can be seen in the FB post below:
This radar interferogram shows the deformation that occurred on Kilauea volcano between June 10 and 16 as seen from space by the Sentinel-1 satellite. Colored fringes indicate motion of the ground surface, with more fringes meaning more deformation. The image shows that there is little ground motion along the East Rift Zone despite the ongoing lower East Rift Zone eruption. However, at the summit the fringes are so close together in the center of the caldera that they merge together and cannot be distinguished -- a sign of the extreme and rapid style of subsidence happening at Kilauea’s summit. (HVO/USGS)
Seismicity dropped abruptly after the explosive event but then slowly started to build up again over the next hours. By the early morning of June 16, 2018, about 35 earthquakes were recorded each hour and this seismicity culminated at 10:22 AM in a subsurface explosion with energy equivalent to a magnitude-5.3 earthquake which produced a weak gas and ash emission plume that rose from Halemaʻumaʻu crater. Once the plume had cleared up, the Kilauea caldera webcam showed fresh collapse of Halemaʻumaʻu crater rim. Again, seismicity dropped abruptly right after this event but slowly increased during the day reaching 25 earthquakes per hour (magnitude
Lower East Rift Zone eruption continues with little change
Update Mon 18 Jun 2018 07:16
Throughout the weekend, Kilauea’s lower East Rift Zone eruption persisted to vigorously effusive large amounts of lava from fissure 8 which travelled along the well established 13 km (8 mile) channel to the broad ocean entry at Kapoho.
This photo take during a 17 June, 2018, morning overflight shows a fissure 8 lava fountain pulsing to heights of 50 m (165 ft) within the cinder spatter cone. (HVO/USGS)
During the morning of June 16, 2018, the fissure 8 lava fountain was pulsing below the rim of the cinder cone that is now 51 m (170 ft) tall at its highest point. The steam in the foreground is the result of heavy morning rain falling on warm (not hot) tephra (lava fragments). (HVO/USGS)
Minor amounts of lava that briefly spill over the lava channel levees are recognisable as the shiny gray lobes along the channel margins. Image taken during a 17 June, 2018, morning overflight, view to the east, with the plume in the upper right showing the location of the ocean entry. (HVO/USGS)
Fissure 8 continues to produce lava fountains with a pulsating height varying from 30 to 60 m (100 – 200 ft). This ongoing spattering of lava has built up an impressive cinder cone that partially encircles the fissure 8 vent and is now 51 m (170 ft) at its highest point. Lower fountains are thereby hidden from view within this cinder cone, but taller fountains are still adding fragments of lava (spatter) that continue to build the cone higher.
View to the southwest of the lava ocean entry at Kapoho on the morning of 16 June 2018. Lava from fissure 8 travels about 13 km (8 mi) down a well established channel (visible in the center of the image) to this ocean entry at Kapoho where it is building a seaward delta that is approximately 320 acres in size. The white plume (left) is the vigorous ocean entry at Vacationland where interaction of lava and ocean water creates a dense plume of ‘laze’. (HVO/USGS)
From the fissure 8 vent, lava flows freely over small cascades (rapids) into a well-established perched channel that travels for about 13 km (8 mi) to the ocean entry at Kapoho. Near the vent, lava is traveling about 24 km per hour (15 mi per hour) but it slows down to about 2 km per hour (1.5 mi per hour) near the ocean entry at Kapoho. Occasionally, minor amounts of lava briefly spill over the channel levees but overall the flow field seems stable with little change to its size and shape for the past few days.
There has only been a small amount of expansion of lava onto new areas at the southern boundary of the flow near the coast and south of Vacationland. As of 15 June, the total lava flow area of this eruption is 23,9 square km (9,2 square miles) and the new lava delta constructed in the ocean covers 1,3 square km (320 acres).
Hawaiian based photographer Bruce Omori (Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery) regularly undertakes early morning helicopter flights over the lower East Rift Zone eruption site after which he shares his best images on Facebook. You can find some impressive shots of the fissure 8 fountain in his Thursday 14 June 2018 album below:
Apart from the vigorous lava fountaining at fissure 8, there is still lava oozing from fissures 16 and 18 which create small lava flows, some mild spattering intermittenly observed from fissures 6 and 15 and increased steaming from fissure 9.
Magma continues to be supplied to the Lower East Rift Zone but seismicity remains relatively low in the area with numerous small magnitude earthquakes and low amplitude background tremor. Higher amplitude tremor is occasionally being recorded on seismic stations close to the ocean entry. (HVO/USGS)
cone building and lava flow generation at fissure 8 continues, ocean entry active long the length of the flow front
Update Fri 15 Jun 2018 14:47
During day 42 of Kilauea’s lower East Rift Zone eruption, lava unabatedly poured out of the vent at fissure 8 and rapidly flowed through the well-established ca 13 km (8 Miles) long channel into the wide ocean entry at Kapoho.
June 14, 2018, aerial view of the northern margin of the ocean entry where the largest Pāhoehoe breakout area is. Several laze plumes rise along the margin as lava break outs feed many small and large flows. (HVO/USGS)
Fissure 8 viewed from the north on 14 June 2018 at 7:50 AM. It’s spatter cone is roughly 50 m (165 ft) high at is peak and a plume of sulfur dioxide and other volcanic gases rises as an orange tinge from the erupting lava fountains (hidden within the cone). Lava is still flowing out of the vent unabated and fills the perched lava channel (left of the cone, a standing wave of lava can be seen in the channel). (HVO/USGS)
Lava flows and fissures map as of 11:00 a.m. HST, June 14, 2018. Lava keeps pouring from fissure 8 through the well established perched channel towards the wide ocean entry at Kapoho. On land flow expansion is limited to minor breakouts along the north site of the lava channel. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. (HVO/USGS)
Throughout Thursday 14 June, 2018, volcanic activity became more vigorous again at Fissure 8 where lava fountains sustained a height of 61 meter (200 foot) and the spatter cone grew to about 49 m (160 ft) at its highest point. A morning overflight confirmed that activity at the lava flow channel continued with no significant changes and only rare, small overflows of the mainly the northern channel levees.
This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 6 am on Thursday June 14, 2018. The fountain at Fissure 8 remains active, with the lava flow entering the ocean at Kapoho. Very small, weak lava flows have been active recently near the Fissure 16/18 area. 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. (HVO/USGS)
The lava ocean entry at Kapoho remains fairly broad and has one main entry along with several minor ones. Laze plumes at the ocean entries were often blown onshore and areas of offshore upwelling were present. Since the flow path of lava from fissure 8 into the ocean is well established, there is little to no expansion of lava on land as most of it covers the ocean floor offshore. In the eastern part of the fissure eruption system fissures 16 and 18 continued to ooze lava but without creating any significant lava flows.
Lower East Rift Zone: sustained fissure 8 fountaining with perched, fast-flowing lava channel and ocean entry
Update Thu 14 Jun 2018 13:51
Over the past 2 days, Kilauea's eruptive activity in the lower East Rift Zone persisted with little change. Fissure 8 continues to vigorously effuse lava fountains of varying heights, sometimes 10 meter (35 feet) above the growing cone of cinder and spatter which is now about 45 m (140 ft) at its highest point.
Image taken on Tuesday morning June 12, 2018, showing the active perched channel with braided lava flows that is fed by Fissure 8 (fountain visible in the distance). (HVO/USGS)
13 June photographs showing Fissure 8 lava fountains that reach heights of 40-45 m (130-150 ft) from within the growing cone of cinder and spatter, which is now about 40 m (130 ft) at its highest point. (HVO/USGS)
Thermal map of the active fissure system and lava flows as of 2 pm on Tuesday, June 12. The fountain at Fissure 8 remains active, with the lava flow entering the ocean at Kapoho. Very small, weak lava flows have been active recently near the Fissure 18 area. 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. (HVO/USGS)
This fountaining continues to feed huge amounts of lava through the massive perched lava channel that runs for about 8 miles (13 kilometer) before reaching the ocean at Kapoho. According to HVO/USGS calculations, there is at least 100 cubic meters of lava transported through this fast moving channel every second! This is the equivalen to 26,000 U.S. gallons flowing by per second or 3 tanker trucks racing by per second... The 12 June 2018 thermal image shows that after ca. 2,5 miles the wide lava flow channel changes into a braided flow for ca 2,5 miles before turning east ward into a single, narrower channel. At Four Corners, the ‘a‘a flow appears to be channelising as well, transporting lava more efficiently through the area before pushing it into the mile wide flow at Kapoho.
Aerial view of the ocean entry at Kapoho, where a lava delta about 250 acres in size is filling the bay, early morning of June 12, 2018. At this time, the south side of the ocean entry was most active, with many small streams of lava and corresponding steam plumes spread along a fairly broad section of the southern part of the delta. (HVO/USGS)
On Tuesday evening 12 June, HVO/USGS reported the presence of two prominent ocean entries creating vigorous steam plumes, but during the Wednesday morning 13 June overflight there were observations of a only one towering steam plume from a single focused ocean entry point. Offshore from where lava enters the ocean, areas of upwelling continue to be sighted but are now more dispersed than first sighted.
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. The only other active vents are fissures 16 and 18 which continue to ooze lava through intermittently spattering and small lava flows. (HVO/USGS)
Below you find the link to Bruce Omori’s incredible photographs of the perched lava channel and ocean entry from his Kilauea's east rift zone overflight on Tuesda morning, June 12, 2018:
Summit caldera: continued inward slumping of Halema’uma’u crater and seismic cycles
Update Thu 14 Jun 2018 13:14
Day by day, Kilauea’s summit caldera continues to subside and Halema‘uma‘u crater keeps crumbling with every explosive event. Over the past week, such explosions occurred once per day and have been registered as magnitude 5+ earthquakes. They are however not typical earthquakes at all since there is no major fault-rupturing event. Instead, pressure builds up beneath the rubble pile that is choking the conduit and is released as an explosion – a continuous seismic cycle.
This aerial overview of June 12, 2018, shows the dramatic change that Halema‘uma‘u vent underwent over the past few weeks. The image looks west across the crater, with the former Halema‘uma‘u crater floor in the center and the deepest part in the foreground. Ground cracks circumferential to the crater rim can be seen cutting across the parking lot (left). (HVO/USGS)
A closer view of the cracks cutting across the parking lot for the former Halema‘uma‘u visitor overlook (closed since 2008, when an active vent opened within the crater). (HVO/USGS)
Diagram of the frequency, size and depth of earthquakes registered at Kilauea volcano showing the seismic cycles that occur at the summit (VolcanoDiscovery)
HVO/USGS released new images of the dramatic changes that have occurred Halema‘uma‘u crater in the past couple weeks. The crater’s steep walls continue to slump inward and downward in response to the ongoing summit subsidence. The former Halema‘uma‘u crater floor has subsided at least 100 m (about 300 ft) and the deepest part of Halema‘uma‘u is now about 300 m (1,000 ft) below the crater rim. Circumferential to the crater rim there are both newly formed and growing ground cracks which are by now cutting across the parking lot of the former Halema‘uma‘u visitor overlook, which was closed in 2008 when a lava lake re-appeared in the crater.
Sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano's summit have dropped to levels that are about half those measured prior to the onset of the current episode of eruptive activity. This gas and minor amounts of ash are being transported downwind, with small bursts of ash and gas accompanying intermittent explosive activity. (HVO/UGS)
Kilauea's lower East Rift Zone eruption continuous with vigorous fountaining from fissure 8 and lava flowing into the ocean at former Kapoho Bay
Update Tue 12 Jun 2018 15:41
Kilauea’s eruption in the lower East Rift Zone continues without showing any signs of weakening. The current activity has been sustained for 38 days now, 2 days longer than the last fissure eruption that occurred in this area in 1960. However, compared to the rapid change of activity locations and advancing lava flow fronts, the eruption seems to have geographically settled for the past week.
The three closely spaced lava fountains at fissure 8 are building a cinder-and-spatter cone around the erupting vent through downwind accumulation of lava fragments falling from the fountains. (HVO/USGS)
Aerial photograph of some minor overflows of the upper fissure 8 lava that sent small flows of lava down the levee walls. These overflows did not extend far from the channel and hence did not pose and immediate threat to nearby areas. Channel overflows like the ones shown here add layers of lava to the channel levees, increasing their height and thickness. (HVO/USGS)
Lava flow and fissure map as of 3:00 p.m. HST, June 11, 2018. Besides the ongoing lava fountaining from fissure 8, only fissures 16 and 18 are active with some mild lava spattering. Most of the large lava flow formed and sustained by fissure 8 is now flowing into the ocean, covering only small additional areas of land along its sides. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. (HVO/USGS)
Fissure 8 remains the centre of activity with a line of closely spaced vents that continue to erupt lava. The height of the produced lava fountains thereby fluctuates between 35 – 55 meter (115 - 180 feet), just above or below the rim of the large spatter cone (pu’u) that they build up along the downwind side of the vents. Lava fountaining from fissure 8 continues to feed a fast-moving channelized lava flow trending north and then east to the ocean entry at Kapoho Bay. Hawai’i Volcano Observatory scientists estimate the lava output to reach up to approximately 100 cubic meters per second!
This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 6:45 am on Sunday, June 10. The flow from Fissure 8 remains very active, its lava entering the ocean at a single entry point in Kapoho. 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. (HVO/USGS)
The width of the active part of this long lava channel varies along its length, ranging from about 90 to 275 meter (100 to 300 yards) wide, splitting from 1 channel into a braided lava river that comes back together before turning eastward to Kapoho. Despite the fact that this channel is full of lava, only minor overflows of the channel levees occurred along the length of the lava flow which so far were short-lived and hence did not pose an immediate threat to areas not previously covered by lava.
Comparison of previous lava flow maps and thermal maps with the current ones show that the wide lava channel flowing over what used to be Kapoho concentrates into a narrow funnel from where there is now only 1 main ocean entry. The lava that has filled Kapoho Bay in the past week built a new lava delta which is now about 1 square kilometre (250 acres) in size.
The interaction of molten lava flowing into cool seawater causes pulsating "littoral explosions" that throw spatter (fragments of molten lava) and pieces of solidified glassy lava high into the air. HVO/USGS warns that these ocean entry littoral explosions can create hazardous conditions both on land and at sea, because the lava fragments can be thrown far inland, as well as seaward. Volcanic gas emissions from the fissure eruption remain very high, a recent measure indicated them to be nearly twice the value of the past two weeks.
The only other activity in the Lower East Rift Zone fissure system was glow, degassing and weak spattering noted for the last several days at Fissures 16 & 18. This activity is however not creating any lava flows.
You can find some spectacular and fascinating images of the fissure 8 fountaining, lava flow and ocean entry on the Facebook page of Bruce Omori (Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery) who undertakes almost every day an early morning overflight with Paradise helicopters:
Bruce Omori (Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery) photographs of 11 June 5h45 am overflight:
Bruce Omori (Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery) photographs of 10 June 5h45 am overflight:
Meanwhile at Kilauea’s summit the caldera continues to subside, resulting in inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halema`uma`u crater along with a ca. 24h returning pattern of increasing seismicity that builts up towards a small explosion with abve M5.0 earthquake after which there is a short break before seismicity picks up again. Sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano's summit have dropped to levels that are about half those measured prior to the onset of the current episode of eruptive activity.
USGS infographic - 30 days of Kilauea eruption in numbers
Update Mon 11 Jun 2018 09:17
On the 30 days anniversary of Kilauea's currently still ongoing eruption in the lower East Rift Zone the USGS published the below infographic which puts the activity from 4 May to 4 June 2018 into numbers.
Infographic about Kilauea's eruption between 4 May and 4 June 2018 (USGS)
The previous eruption in this part of Kilauea's East Rift Zone dates back to 1960 and lasted 36 days, the same time span that the current eruption has reached as of today - not showing any signs of decreasing activity yet.
As of 4 June 2018:
- ca. 20 square kilometers (7.7 square miles) of land where covered by lava;
- the fastest recorded lava flow had an advance rate of ca. 600 meters per hour (656 yards an hour);
- the highest lava fountain reached 76 meter (250 feet);
- the tallest ash plume rising from Kilauea's summit was ca 9150 meter (30,000 feet) above sea level
- the Big Island was hit by 9900 earthquakes (compared to an average of ca 1000 earthquakes in a normal month) of which the largest one had a magnitude of 6.9
- the USGS has 80 employees currently responding to this volcanic crisis, continuously studying the ever changing activity, taking samples and updating the public on their website
Kilauea lower East Zone Rift eruption: continued vigorous lava fountaining from fissure 8
Update Sat 09 Jun 2018 08:39
The eruption in the lower East Rift Zone remained concentrated on fissure 8, where continuous vigorous lava fountaining fluctuates, at times reaching heights of 70 meters (230 feet). This activity continues to feed the lava channel flowing northeast before turning westward toward Kapoho where it transforms in a very broad lava flow that by now almost entirely covered Kapoho and Vacationland and filled up Kapoho Bay. Sideways moving of this broad Kapoho Bay lava flow creeps north through what remains of Kapoho Beach Lots, but none of the other previously active lobes of the large fissure 8 flows are receiving fresh lava and have hence stalled. Also no other fissures apart from fissure 8 were actively erupting lava in the past few days. The only activity observed was some incandescence from fissure 24 and heavy fuming from fissures 24, 9 and 10 – all located just west of fissure 8.
Around 3:00 a.m. HST on June 8, lava fountains erupting from fissure 8 on Kīlauea Volcano's Lower East Rift Zone were reaching heights of 55-65 meters (180–220 feet). (HVO/USGS)
Fissures and lava flows map as of 12:00 p.m. (noon) HST, June 8, 2018. The fissure 8 flow has created a lava delta approximately 190 acres in size, filling Kapoho Bay and shallow reefs along the nearby coastline. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. (HVO/USGS)
About 600 homes have been destroyed by the multiple lava flows that were produced during this lower East Rift Zone eruption, in the Leilani Estates during the early days of the eruption and lately in Kapoho and Vacationaland. The large lava delta that has been created outside former Kapoho Bay is about 1.9 (1.2 mi) wide, creating multiple vigorously steaming lava ocean entries as well as upwelling of a large offshore area where lava is actively flowing onto the ocean floor. HVO/USGS warn that the lava delta is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand, loose material that can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. Additionally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates "laze", a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.
June 7, 2018, ESA - European Space Agency #Sentinnel2 satellite image of Kilauea Volcano lava flows near Kapoho and Vacationland, Hawai. The fissure 8 channelized lava flow bends toward the south at Kapoho Crater then broadly spreads over the Kapoho area before entering the ocean. Note the red colours along the northern margin of the broad area - this is where the flow began expanding into Beach Lots yesterday. The laze plume rises from the ocean entry and combines with rain clouds. Naturalised SWIR/VIS, containing modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2018) processed by Pierre Markuse. (HVO/USGS)
On 7 June 2018, clear conditions at Pu’u O’o provided good views into the crater. The crater floor collapsed and the lava lake drained a little more than a month ago. The crater now has a funnel shape geometry with a deep cylindrical shaft, filled with rubble. (HVO/USGS)
Since the start of the eruption about 35 days ago, the volume of lava erupted so far in Puna is about 0.11 cubic kilometres in total. Phil Ong compares this to the 35 years long eruption that had been going on at Pu’u O’o prior to the start of this eruption, and notices that although the eruption rate is about 25 times higher, is not nearly a match to the ca. 4.5 cubic kilometres that were erupted from Pu’u O’o since 1983. Much like the fate of the lava lake in Haleam’uma’u at Kilauea’s summit, the lava lake in Pu’u O’o has disappeared since all magma was drained to the eruption site in the lower East Rift Zone from early May. The crater floor of Pu’u O’o collapsed and the crater now has a funnel shape geometry with a deep cylindrical shaft, filled with rubble, that is about 350 meters (1150 feet) deep. The many earthquakes that are occurring on Kilauea volcano also affect the Pu’u O’o vent. HVO/USGS reports that tollowing a magnitude-3.2 earthquake at the summit, twelve rockfalls were recorded in Puʻu ʻŌʻō between 10:31 and 10:56 AM on Friday 8 June, with a prominent, but brief, red dust plume ejected into the air around 10:50 AM.
Kilauea summit caldera: continued slumping of Halema’uma’u crater and recurring magnitude 5 earthquakes
Update Sat 09 Jun 2018 07:44
Subsidence of Kilauea’s summit keeps going on as magma continues to be drained from the summit area towards the active fissure eruption site in the lower East Rift Zone. As much as 9900 earthquakes have been registered on Kilauea over the past 30 days, most of which occurred at the volcano’s summit. These events have led to dramatic changes in and around Halema’uma’a crater which for the past 10 years contained an active lava lake. Since the start of the lower East Rift Zone eruption, this lava lake has been systematically drained – leaving behind a large empty vent with unstable walls that partially collapse, creating explosions with large ash plumes. Continuous deflation of the whole summit area and its accompanying earthquakes in turn also destabilise the walls of the Halema’uma’u vent and surrounding crater, resulting in widening of the vent and partial collapse of the crater as its west side is slumping inwards due to the formation of large cracks on the Kilauea caldera floor.
This image taken on a mid-day overflight on June 5 shows the ongoing partial collapse of Haleama’uam’u crater at the summit of Kilauea volcano. To the north of the old overlook parking area (left in the image) is the site of the former lava lake – now a deep hole piled with wall-rock rubble. The western portion of Haleamu’uma’u (upper part of image) has moved down and toward the centre of the crater as new cracks form on the caldera floor to the west. The summit is still subsiding due to withdrawal of magma towards the east rift zone. (HVO/USGS)
These images illustrate changes to the caldera area of Kīlauea Volcano that occurred between May 5 and June 6, 2018. Over time, expansion of the summit eruptive vent within Halema‘uma‘u crater and the widening of Halema‘uma‘u itself are clear. The last image, on June 6, shows the development of several cracks outside Halema‘uma‘u and inward slumping of a large portion of the western and southwestern crater rim. The west side of Halema‘uma‘u is clearly unstable, and it is likely that rockfalls and continued slumping will occur in the future. (HVO/USGS)
Over the past week a cycle emerged in the seismicity monitored at Kilauea’s summit area, where increasingly larger and more frequent earthquakes culminated in a magnitude 5 earthquake. These earthquakes are usually accompanied by an explosion and ash cloud from Halema’uma’u crater and followed by a short period of less earthquakes before seismicity picks up again, building towards the next larger earthquake and explosion. The last two of these larger earthquakes were a M5.6 earthquake on Wednesday afternoon 6 June at 16h07 and a M5.2 earthquake on early Friday morning 8 June at 02h44. In each case there was also a small explosion at Halema’uma’u crater creating an ash plume that rose up to about 3050 meters (10,000 feet). Each time summit seismicity dropped significantly right after the earthquake and explosion, but then picked up again a few hours later and gradually increased until the next larger event.
This diagram showing the depth and size of earthquakes that occurred at Kilauea over the past week clearly reflects a seismic cycle where increasing seismicity culminates in a ca. Magnitude 5 earthquake every 1,5 to 2 days. (http://webcams.volcanodiscovery.com/Kilauea)
On June 5, 2018, a HVO scientist who has been studying the changes of Kilauea’s summit caldera for decades briefly visited the parking area for the former Halema‘uma‘u overlook (closed since the re-appearance of a lava lake in 2008) to make direct observations of and gather data from the effects of recent explosions within Halema‘uma‘u. HVO reports that the parking lot is strewn with small ballistic blocks, most of them only a few centimetres across but some larger blocks reaching up to 45 cm (18 inches) in diameter. Many of these larger blocks appeared to be in depressions in the ash, but upon closer examination, it was concluded that wind had winnowed ash from around the blocks, creating a false impression that the depressions were made by impact. Apart from ballistic blocks and an ash layer up to 4 cm (1,5 inch) thick, the Halema‘uma‘u parking lot is sliced into blocks by cracks which were first noted in a very early stage on May 13 but are now dominant. These cracks are circumferential to Halema‘uma‘u and warp and offset the pavement and curbing of the parking lot. Cracks have varying sizes, an average one for example shows 42 cm (16.5 in) of right lateral offset—as measured by fitting the center stripe on the road back together—and was about 25 cm (10 in) wide. (HVO/USGS)
The median between two areas of the Halema’uma’u parking lot has been warped and broken by cracks. Ash accumulation in the parking area was generally not more than 4 cm (1.5 in) thick. (HVO/USGS)
Sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano's summit, while lower than those recorded in early-mid May, remain high enough to impact air quality in downwind regions. Additional bursts of gas released with intermittent explosive activity are also transported downwind and may temporarily affect air quality as well. (HVO/USGS)
Strong lava effusion continues from fissure 8
Update Thu 07 Jun 2018 06:38
The activity in the lower east rift zone continues with no significant changes. After a brief episode of declining output of magma from fissure #8 and the contemporary reactivation and lava effusion from a number of other fissures, activity shifted back to fissure #8 which has been the main vent of the rift eruption over the past week.
Lava fountaining and active flow to the NE from fissure #8 at Kilauea's lower east rift zone this morning (night in Hawaii)
Latest lava flow map (image: HVO / USGS)
Strong fountaining continues, with moderate heights of 150-180 ft (50-70 m), "feeding a stable channel to the east to the ocean entry in the Kapoho Bay area. Lava is entering the ocean in the Vacationland subdivision. Vacationland has been completely covered by lava, and overnight the flow expanded north by 100 m within Kapoho Beach Lots. The lava delta that formed at Kapoho Bay extended slightly overnight." (HVO / USGS)
This view, looking south at Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone, was captured during HVO's 6:00 a.m. HST (6 June) helicopter overflight today. It shows continued fountaining of fissure 8 and the lava flow channel fed by it. Lava continues to flow quickly in these braided channels; the flow margins are currently stable and have not experienced any breakouts since June 5. (image: HVO / USGS)
No other fissures were active as of 6 June afternoon local time.
Tilt at the summit with overall deflation interrupted by quick inflation "jumps" - each vertical jump corresponds to an explosion blowing out debris that has been clogging the collapsing conduit
The slow caldera collapse (subsidence and slumping) currently observed at the central Halema'uma'u crater and in its immediate surroundings continues. Seismic activity has again been increasing after Tuesday morning's small explosion, and lead up to a new explosion that occurred a few hours ago and is visible on the deformation plot (s. attached).
Vigorous fountaining from fissure 8 continues, the resulting lava flow has completely filled Kapoho Bay and created a second ocean entry at Vacationland
Update Wed 06 Jun 2018 11:00
In the Lower East Rift Zone lava effusion persists from fissure 8 which continues to feed a channel transporting lava eastward to the ocean entry in the Kapoho Bay area. HVO's Tuesday 5 June mid-day overflight showed that this flow has completely filled Kapoho Bay and formed a lava delta extending about 1.3 kilometre (0.8 miles) out from the former coastline. Meanwhile the outbreak of this flow that started to wrap around the western side of Kapoho cinder cone has completely encircled it, re-joined the wide Kapoho Bay lava flow channel but travelled south of it where it now creates a second ocean entry in the Vacationland tidepools area. The destruction of the Kapoho Bay and Vacationland neighbourhoods and beautiful recreational areas is immense as almost all of it got covered by the fissure 8 lava flow over the past 2 days. Whatever remains is still under threat as the wide fissure 8 lava flow is also still spreading sideways
Lava flows and fissures map as of 10:00 a.m. HST, June 5, 2018. 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. (HVO/USGS)
This thermal map shows the active fissure system and lava flows as of 12:30 pm on Tuesday, June 5. The flow from Fissure 8 remains highly active, with the flow front entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay area. 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. (HVO/USGS)
Facebook post from ExtremeExposure showing unbelievable and sad aerial photographs of the destruction of Kapoho Bay area:
HVO scientists captured this aerial view of a much-changed Halema‘uma‘u during their overflight of the summit on the afternoon of June 5. Explosions and collapse within Halema‘uma‘u have enlarged the crater (foreground) that previously hosted the summit lava lake, and the far rim of Halema‘uma‘u has dropped with continued summit deflation. (HVO/USGS)
Over the past week eruptive activity in the fissure system concentrated on fissure 8 and the massive lava flow channel that was created from it, traveling fast north eastwards along highway 132 before turning eastward and inundating the Kapoho Bay area. Local volunteers daily head out by boat to the cut off area around Poihiki on rescue missions for any animals and persons that got stranded there after the fissure 8 lava flow covered the intersection between highway 132 and 137. Meanwhile northernmost lobe of the Fissure 8 flow, in the Noni Farms Road area, is still barely advancing to the northeast and minor breakouts along the channelized fissure 8 flow have been very small and stagnated before travelling any significant distance.
The intensity of lava fountaining from fissure 8 fluctuated over the past 7 days, at times increasing the lava fountains’ height from about 45 m (150 feet) to 75m (250 feet) before it falls back to about 40- 55 m (130 – 180 feet) high. Downwind from the fountains a new cinder cone (pu’u) has formed of about 35 m (120 feet) high and high amounts of Pele’s hair and reticulate (foamy lava) have been carried and spread across the larger downwind area. There is no way of knowing for how much longer this eruption will go on, but it seems that the fissure 8 vent is now well established within the plumbing system of the currently active fissure eruption sire. Fluctuation in the height of the resulting lava fountains is thereby normal as it reflects pulsation in the magma input and pressure build-up below. Although impressive, the currently witnessed max 400 feet high lava fountains of this eruption are still small compared to the up to 1800 feet tall fountains that were produced in the Mauna Ulu eruption (1969 – 1974) or the present record of around 1900 feet lava fountaining from the vent in Kiluaea Iki in 1959.
It is of course also possible that other fissures are re-activated or new ones will open up. Recent eye witness reports state intense degassing and perhaps even minor amounts of lava being erupted from fissures 9 and/or 24 at the western part of the active fissure system. If large lava flows would form from these fissures they are likely to destroy large areas of the remaining Leilani estates subdivision.
Meanwhile at Kilauea’s summit caldera inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halema`uma`u crater continues in response to ongoing subsidence of the entire summit area. HVO reports that seismicity remained at high levels for most of Monday night (4 june) and into Tuesday morning (5 June) when a small explosion occurred at 4.32 AM HST. This explosion had an equivalent earthquake magnitude of M5.5 and generated an a small plume that rose about 1000 feet (305 meter) above the summit. Summit earthquake activity dropped right after this explosion but has since been slowly on the rise once again, following the same pattern of summit seismicity in the previous weeks. Locally felt earthquakes are expected to continue, and further ash explosions are likely.
The HVO/USGS has now installed a webcam for a continuous YouTube live stream of what is going on at Kilauea’s summit caldera:
Sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano's summit have decreased, over the last week, but emission rates remain high enough to impact air quality in downwind regions. Additional bursts of gas released with intermittent explosive activity are also transported downwind and may temporarily affect air quality as well (HVO/USGS).
Update Tue 05 Jun 2018 11:01
The eruption continues without significant changes: lava fountaining remains strong from fissure #8 although a bit decreased during the past day, feeding a large river of lava that flows towards the new ocean entry at Kaphoho.
Latest lava flow map with the location of the ocean entry in Kaphoho (image: HVO / USGS)
Seismic activity at the summit has been low.
HVO reported this morning (evening in Hawaii): "Fountaining at Fissure 8 continues to feed a robust channel transporting lava to the northeast along Highway 132 and east to the ocean entry in Kapoho Bay. Multiple observations from field crews and overflights suggest the Fissure 8 fountain is less vigorous this evening, with maximum heights of 130-160 feet. As of early evening, lava was filling Kapoho Bay, extending out approximately 750 yards from shore. A laze plume is blowing inland from the ocean entry but is dissipating quickly. The lava breakout on the north side of the Kapoho cinder pits continues to be stalled southeast of the intersection of Railroad Avenue and Cinder Road. A lava breakout from the south margin of the flow near the intersection of Highway 132 and Railroad Avenue has completely encircled the Green Lake cone."
Earthquake activity at the summit was low after Sunday's small explosion, but has slowly increased since that time. Levels are approaching those of Sunday early afternoon, before the most recent small explosion. Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halema`uma`u continues in response to persistent subsidence. We expect that earthquake rates will increase in the coming hours and culminate in another small explosion, perhaps within the next day, following the pattern of the past few weeks. "
Lava enters Kaphoho, reaches ocean
Update Tue 05 Jun 2018 10:54
Overflight photograph at approximately 6:13 a.m. HST shows the lava flow originating from Fissure 8 (not visible in photograph) entering Kapoho Bay. The ocean entry was reported to have occurred by 10:30 p.m. on the night of June 3, 2018
Lava flow entering the ocean at Kaphoho on 4 June 2018 (image: HVO /USGS)
Lava fountaining continues at fissure 8, the resulting lava flow almost reaching the ocean at Kapoho
Update Mon 04 Jun 2018 07:04
In the Lower East Rift Zone vigorous fountaining persisted from fissure 8 throughout the weekend, feeding large amounts of lava into the channel that runs northeast as the western branches of this flow became inactive during the night from Friday 1 to Saturday 2 June. The remaining fissure 8 lava flow continued to travel along Highway 132 to Kapoho and eventually crossed Highway 137 at the ‘Four Corners’ intersection of Highways 132 and 137 on Saturday morning 2 June at 9h30 am local time. It thereby effectively cut off the land south of this active flow front from Pohoiko to Vacationland Hawaii where any people that got stuck are evacuated by boat and helicopter. The same lava flow subsequently wrapped around Kapoho cinder cone and entered it through the gap on its east side, filling up the crater and creating a large steam plume as it evaporated all the water of Green Lake. As lava continues to pour into the Kapoho cinder cone in Green forest, it creates a stunning ‘lava fall’ The active flow then spread out to a 0.5 mile wide lava flow front that continues to make its way towards the ocean at Kapoho Bay. On Sunday evening 3 June 19h00 local time HVO/USGS reported that this flow front was merely 225 meter (245 yards) away from the ocean.
Although continuously active, lava fountaining from fissure 8 temporarily decreased to heights of about 50 m (164 feet) during the night from 1 to 2 June . The moon can be seen in the upper left. (HVO/USGS)
East side of the fissure 8 flow advancing on the "lighthouse road" (east of the Four Corners intersection) around 14h00 on Saturday 2 June when this ‘a‘ā flow was about 5 m (16 ft) thick. (HVO/USGS)
The lava fountaining from fissure 8 in the western part of the eruptive system was the main activity over the past few days. Whereas fissures 18 and 22 were still feeding lava flows traveling south by the end of last week, both were inactive by the early morning of Saturday 2 June when the only other active flow noted during an overflight was from fissure 16, in the eastern part of the active rift system, which was weakly active. By Sunday 3 June local time none of the fissures besides fissure 8 were active as by then fissure(s) 16 (and 18) only showed incandescence without fountaining. At the same time heavy steaming and abundant gas emission was noted from fissure(s) 9 (and 10), potentially announcing re-activation of these vents which prompted mandatory evacuation for the Leilani Estates area around these fissures.
Lava flows and fissures map as of 11:00 a.m. HST, June 3, 2018. 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. (HVO/USGS)
Meanwhile at Kilauea’s summit caldera the vent inside Halema’uma’u crater keeps collapsing as magma was drained from beneath it and the summit area is deflating. A small explosion occurred on Friday afternoon 13h39 but ash emissions have overall decreased, possibly reflecting the accumulation of rubble at the base of the growing summit crater. Earthquake activity was low during the night from Friday 1 June to Saturday 2 June but then seismicity picked up again and there were many earthquakes overnight from Saturday 2 to Sundqay 3 June, leading the HVO/USGS to expect a another small explosion to take place in the next day. Whereas ash emissions from Halema’uma’u crater are currently low, the emission of volcanic gasses remains high.
Lower East Rift Zone eruption continues, feeding lava flows that advance to the NE and SE, prompting evacuations in Kapoho
Update Fri 01 Jun 2018 09:05
The eruption continues at Kilauea Volcano’s Lower East Rift Zone where active vents along the length of the fissure system are feeding multiple lava flows. Fissure 8 at the western part remains the most active, vigorously spewing out lava fountains up to 80 meters (260 feet) into the air and having formed a downwindsmall spatter cone of ca. 30 meter (100 feet) height. The lava flow that resulted from fissure 8’s activity travelled northeast across the Puna Geothermal Venture and currently has multiple active lobes branching out which threaten Kapoho and the intersection between highways 132 and 137. The speed of these lava flows has been up to 100 yards an hour, but they advance in bursts: at times the front does not move as new incoming lava is building up the flow until it becomes unstable and the lava suddenly surges forward at speeds as fast as 600 yards an hour. Residential areas between the active lobe fronts of the fissure 8 lava flow and Kapoho have been evacuated during the night from 30 to 31 May local time. If these lava flows reach the intersection of highways 132 and 137 a large area along the coast and highway 137 will be cut off and become completely inaccessible.
May 31 helicopter overflight showing the advancing lobes from fissure 8 (not pictured but located to the right, out of view). The flow moved north of Highway 132 in the vicinity of Noni Farms and Halekamahina roads, from which the two easternmost lobes advanced in a more east-northeasterly direction while the westernmost lobe advanced in a northeasterly direction. (HVO/USGS)
May 31 photograph showing lava from fissure 8 advances on Kahukai Street, the flow being as much as 3.5 yards in height. (HVO/USGS)
In the eastern part of the active lower rift, fissure 18 also continues to erupt lava which feeds a lava flow that is slowly traveling eastward and might eventually create a new ocean entry. The ocean entries that were previously created by lava flows from fissure 22 are currently inactive, but a new flow fed from the central part of the fissure system is slowly making its way just west of the previous flow channels and might reach the ocean near Mackenzie State park. Meanwhile the National Park Service and Department of Transportation have started to clear out the 2016 – 2017 lava flows that covered the Chain of Craters Road along the coast. If the cracks on Highway 130 would become larger or lava flows would cut off this road, the Chain of Craters Road would be the evacuation road for around 1000 people living in Kalapana southwest of the currently active fissure system. The new emergency road should be ready for use within 2 weeks time.
This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 12:15 pm on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. The flow from Fissure 8 crossed Highway 132 yesterday and its front today was near Noni Farms Road during the noon overflight. In addition, Fissure 18 was producing a narrow channelized flow with the flow front 0.9 km (0.6 miles) from Highway 137. 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. (HVO/USGS)
Other hazards of lava effusion at the fissure besides destructive lava flows are high levels of sulphur dioxide near the vents (up to 12.4 ppm) and Pele's hair and other lightweight volcanic glass that forms from high fountaining of Fissure 8 and falls out downwind.
Lava flows and fissures map as of 2:00 p.m. HST, May 31, 2018. 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. (HVO/USGS)
Lava effusion continues at fissure #8 and #18, feeding lava flows advancing SE and NE, threatening Kapoho
Update Thu 31 May 2018 08:59
The activity in Lower Puna remains stable at high levels with the principal vents being fissure #8 (western portion of the system) and #18 (eastern part). Both feed voluminous lava flows that continue to consume land, property and pose threats as to cut-off additional areas, prompting the need for evacuations especially in the Kapoho area.
Lava flow from fissure #8 afternoon 30 May (image: HVO / USGS)
Latest map from HVO with active flows
Interactive map generated from multiple sources with most recent update
Fissure #8 inside Leilani maintains its strong lava fountaining, with jets of liquid lava reaching 60-80 m (200-250 feet) and feeds the large lava flows directed to the NE with current flow fronts on and north of Hwy 132 in the area of of Noni Farms road.
Although the flow front advance has currently slowed to less than 50 yards per hour, it can pick up quickly and the threat of it reaching the Four Corners area and cutting off Kapoho remains significant. Evacuations of Kapoho are underway.
On the western end, a new lava flow from fissure #18 is now headed to probably generate a new ocean entry soon in the Ahalanui Beach Park area, which would cut off Pohoiki and a large triangle of land.
Link: the most recent updated map source is probably the community-generated interactive map on google: [link to map]
HVO writes: "by late afternoon, the front of the Fissure 18 flow was about 0.5 miles from Highway 137 and was spreading and slowing. In the late afternoon, a new flow lobe began branching from the south side of the fissure 18 flow approximately 1.5 miles upslope from the flow front. During the day, sporadic bursts of activity were also observed from Fissures 22, 6, and 13. Low level spattering and intermittent fountaining from Fissure 21 were also observed in the late afternoon and early evening."
Additional immediate hazards related to the activity are the large amounts of gas, with dangerous SO2 concentrations in areas near the fissures, and fall-out from the fountain, which also generates a plume of very light-weight tephra (reticulite pumice and Pele's hair) that drifts and falls several hundred from the emission point in the downwind direction (currently west).
Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Ash continued to erupt intermittently from the vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater at Kīlauea's summit. Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ash fall downwind are possible at any time. Earthquake activity is elevated at the summit, with a few felt events reported throughout the day. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high.
Lava effusion concentrates on fissure #8 with vigorous fountaining
Update Wed 30 May 2018 19:02
High effusion rates continue to characterize the ongoing eruption, which has largely focused on the fissure #8 vent in the western portion of the fissure system, near the intersection of Luana St and Leilani Blv.
Fissure 8 reactivated on the afternoon of May 28, when, at times, lava fountains were reaching heights of 200 feet and feeding a lava flow that advanced to the northeast. (image: HVO / USGS)
Latest map from HVO as of yesterday evening
Sustained lava fountains reaching up to 50-70 m from a main vent and several smaller ones next to it have been feeding large, channeled lava flows that have been advancing quickly to the NE, broadly along Hwy 132, at speeds exceeding 200 m per hour at times, causing more property burnt and mandatory evacuations around Noni Farms and Hale Kamahina Roads.
Interactive, community-generated map of the affected area (see text for link)
Spectacular images from the lava fountain at fissure #8:
Community-generated updated map of affected areas
from HVO: "The Fissure 18 flow also remained active, moving downslope toward Highway 137 at rates of less than 100 yards per hour. Overnight, sporadic bursts of activity were also observed from Fissures 7 and 15.
Pele's hair and and other lightweight volcanic glass from high fountaining of Fissure 8 are falling to the west of the fissure and accumulating on the ground within Leilani Estates. Winds my 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."
As magma continues to withdraw from the summit reservoir, the pit crater inside Halema'uma'u continues to collapse and has been enlarging significantly over the past days. As its floor several hundred meeters down covers with hot debris, blocking degassing and potentially coming into contact with infiltrating water, explosive eruptions occur from time to time, and as the vent deepens and grows, could potentially become larger.
Over the past few days, "ash continued to erupt intermittently from the vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, at Kīlauea's summit, but no small explosive events have been recorded since Tuesday morning. Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ash fall downwind are possible at any time. Earthquake activity is elevated at the summit, with a few events reported felt overnight. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high and will combine with wind conditions to produce widespread vog across the Island of Hawaii on Wednesday." (HVO)
Time-lapse of fissure activity 28-29 May and large lava flows from fissures #7 and #8 to the NE
Update Tue 29 May 2018 16:27
Activity continues with regularly changing erupting vents and flows
Update Tue 29 May 2018 12:08
In the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) fissure system, the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens was the scene vigorous eruption of lava also throughout Monday 28 May.
Kilauea's lower east rift zone overflight on Monday, May 28, 2018, 5:45 am, with Paradise Helicopters and Extreme Exposire. Fissures 8 and 24 were the only ones actively erupting but it seemed that the volume from other fissures was also being released at this location where a massive flow was on the move and consumed a dozen houses while the helicopter was hovering there. (image: Karyn Spencer)
Close view of the lava channel in the middle of the lava flow erupting from fissure 8 during an HVO overflight at about 7 a.m. Monday 28 May. The tallest lava fountain in the photo is fissure 8 which was active since the evening before but who’s eruption diminished significantly later that same morning. (HVO/USGS)
Early Monday morning it became clear that the fast-moving flow which broke out the evening before originated from fissure 8 which fed a channelized flow that first moved north along an older flow before turning east and quickly destroying a new residential area. Its initial advance rate of hundreds of meters (yards) per hour had however slowed down to a few meters (yards) an hour by Monday morning and eventually stalled during a short period of inactivity. Late in the afternoon of Monday 28 May, however, vigorous fountaining resumed at fissure 8, producing a fast-moving lava flow that travelled first north and then northeast at a speed of ca 18 meter (20 yards) an hour. Fissure 8’s vigorous fountaining has produced significant amounts of Pele’s hair which are transported downwind, with reports of some strands falling in Pahoa.
View of the fissure complex looking toward the southwest (uprift) during this an HVO overflight at about 1:15 p.m., Monday 28 May. The small lava flows spreading to the southeast from the fissure complex (lower middle) originate in the area of between fissures 16 and 18. The channelized lava flow in upper left originates from fissure 22. (HVO/USGS)
Close view of weak ocean entry at about 1:05 p.m. 28 May 2018. Only small and intermittent "laze" plumes had been observed as the vents that supplied lava to the flow and sea stopped erupting the previous and only residual lava still hot within the flow occasionally spilled into the sea. (HVO/USGS)
Several other fissures which were inactive on Monday morning 28 May reactived again later that day with spattering and lava fountains, the highest of which were observed at fissure 7/21. A resulting lava flow was moving south from fissures 16/18, but the amounts of lava they had erupted was not yet enough to reach the ocean so that only a minor ooze of residual lava was entering the ocean on Monday evening. (HVO/USGS)
Ash continued to erupt intermittently from the vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, at Kīlauea's summit throughout Monday 28 May. HVO/USGS reports that a brief emission event at about 4:35 AM local time sent ash to about 3050 meter (10,000 feet) above sea level, and a similar event around 6:30 AM sent ash to approximately 3660 meter (12,000 feet) above sea level. Observations from the ground, by UAS, and by satellite during the past week have documented retreat of the summit vent walls due to collapse of the steep conduit and rim.
Earthquakes are currently occurring at high rates in the summit area and a magnitude 4.1 earthquake occurred at 5:39 PM HST on the Koa'e fault zone south of the caldera. Seismicity continues in the summit region as the area subsides and adjusts to the withdrawal of magma. (HVO/USGS)
Kilauea volcano update: 28 May lava flows map and thermal image
Update Tue 29 May 2018 11:44
28 May 2018 updated fissures and lava flow map and thermal image of the ongoing eruption of Kilauea in the East Rift Zone (HVO/USGS)
Thermal map of fissure system and lava flows as of 1:15 pm on Monday, May 28, 2018. The flow from Fissure 8 that reached Pohoiki Rd. this morning stalled, though activity restarted at Fissure 8 in the afternoon shortly after this map was made. The channelized flows that had reached the ocean were inactive today - a small amount of residual lava was draining from the abandoned eastern channel into the ocean, creating a weak ocean entry plume. Fissure 22 restarted today with lava starting to reoccupy the drained channel. 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. (HVO/USGS)
Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone fissures and flows map as of 3:00 p.m. HST, May 28, 2018. 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—and could have changed rapidly since that time. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. (HVO/USGS)